Meet The Muslims Who Are Breaking Stereotypes in Rio

Over the past few months we have heard a lot about Ibtihaj Muhammad who is fast becoming a household name. The 30 year old New Jersey native burst into the spotlight when she became the first women ever  to compete in a hijab on the US national olympic team. Now that the olympics are in full swing, here are a few more Muslims  who are breaking boundaries this year.

Leila Rajabi

Competing for Iran

Rajabi, born in Belarus has been competing in shot put since 2001. In 2007 she met and married Iranian athlete Peiman Rajabi. Rajabi converted to Islam and acquired Irani citizenship, where she lives and continues to train. Since 2007 she has been competing nationally under Iran. Shortly after moving to Iran Rajabi broke the national record and still holds the title. She was placed 21st in London in 2012. 

Doaa el – Ghobashy

Competing for Egypt
Beach Volleyball

This 19 year old Egyptian athlete has quickly caught the attention of many. El-Ghobashy and her partner Nada Meawad (18) are the first duo to show no skin during their matches. El-Ghobashy, who also wears hijab does not believe in compromising her religion and beliefs for her sport, and she is not planning on letting either go. El-Ghobashy and Meawad have played their first match against Germany, despite losing, they are just as  fierce and prepared for their next one.

Mohamed Sbihi

Competing for Great Britain

Sbihi is a UK native of Moroccan origin. In London 2012, he and his team won bronze. Sbihi hopes to inspire other muslims. He said in a recent interview for Team GB, “Being a positive role model as a Muslim sportsman is important. My faith is very important to me, it’s how I was brought up and something that I strongly believe in. I recite the first words of the Qur’an before the start of every race.” Sbihi and the rest of the GB rowing team of qualified for the medal race later this week.

Mahama Cho

Competing for Great Britain

Cho was born in Ivory Coast and lived there till the age of eight. He then moved to England at the request of his father who was a former African taekwondo champion. Cho began a semi-professional football career before he went into taekwondo. At the age of 17 he put his full concentration on taekwondo. Cho has always kept his religion first, in an interview with Team GB he stated he used to pray with former Arsenal and Liverpool player Kolo Toure, calling him his mentor. Cho says that he will always remember the advice that Toure gave him and he hopes to inspire other young Muslims, like many of his fellow Muslims athletes.

This article is written by Rimsha Sayyed

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