To the Editor:
Muslim athlete Rahaf Khatib has just made history by being the first woman in hijab to grace the cover of a U.S. fitness magazine. Rahaf is a marathon runner from Michigan and has been featured in Women's Running Magazine. Muslim women athletes are hugely underrepresented in sports media, despite being active participants in a variety of activities, whether it is a local marathon or the Olympics. By featuring a visibly Muslim woman on their front page, the magazine promotes inclusivity in sports and is just one example of how the hijab is not a limitation for the women who wear it in accordance with the teachings of their faith.
Muslim women wear the hijab as an act of modesty and devotion to God. Unfortunately, the media portrays the hijab as a garment that is oppressive to women and does not allow them to live their daily lives like everyone else. This assumption is highly problematic because it equates a lack of clothing with more freedom, and more clothing with oppression and subjugation. Hopefully, Rahaf's feature will be an encouraging trend, and Muslim women athletes will receive the acknowledgment that they deserve.