Festival apologises that Muslim woman asked to remove hijab

The burka, often seen as a form of subjugation is used as a form of empowerment in the Emmy-nominated "Burka Avenger" animated series, AP)
The burka, often seen as a form of subjugation is used as a form of empowerment in the Emmy-nominated "Burka Avenger" animated series, AP)

Austin - A South by Southwest volunteer has been dismissed and festival organisers apologised after an US Olympic fencer who is Muslim was asked to remove her headscarf in order to get a credential.

South by Southwest registration official Amin Simms said in an emailed statement that it was "an insensitive request" and against the festival's policy to ask Ibtihaj Muhammad to remove her hijab Saturday at the Austin festival. Muhammad couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Simms wrote that festival organisers apologised to Muhammad and that they were embarrassed by the situation.

Muhammad is set to compete for the US at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

South by Southwest is a major festival of film, interactive media, and music.

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