Ibtihaj Muhammad is set to be the first American woman to compete in the Olympics this summer wearing a hijab, or Muslim headscarf. But when she checked into SXSW, the annual interactive media festival in Austin, Texas, she was asked to remove the covering by security personnel. Now, the organization has issued an apology for forcing her to remove the headscarf in order to receive her ID.

Muhammad, a member of the USA Fencing World team, tweeted Saturday that when she was registering to receive her ID badge at the festival, she was asked to remove the scarf to get her picture taken. Muhammad explained that she couldn’t remove it for religious reasons, but she said that officials insisted.




She added that when she finally did receive the badge, her name and affiliation were not even correctly listed. Muhammad’s tweets about the incident were retweeted more than 4,000 times.



The SXSW organization issued a statement of apology after the incident, explaining that the person checking in Muhammad, 30,  was a volunteer who shouldn’t have taken that action. 

"It is not our policy that a hijab or any religious head-covering be removed in order to pick up a SXSW badge," SXSW said in a statement. "This was one volunteer who made an insensitive request and that person has been removed for the duration of the event. We are embarrassed by this and have apologized to Ibtihaj in person, and sincerely regret this incident."

Muhammad was at the festival to participate in a panel on Saturday called "The New Church: Sport as Currency of American Life." At the panel, she addressed her experience from earlier in the day.

"I had a crappy experience checking in," Muhammad said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Someone asking me to remove my hijab isn't out of the norm for me. ... Do I hope it changes soon? Yes, every day."

When asked if she was worried about sponsors who might not appreciate her speaking out, she was firm. "If a sponsor wants to walk away ... they weren't meant for me anyway."

Muhammad, who is originally from New Jersey, began fencing at the age of 13. She competed in the sport at Duke University and is currently ranked seventh in the world. She has a number of corporate sponsors, including Visa. The Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro.