In a statement sent to BuzzFeed News, a SXSW representative said they were embarrassed by the incident:
“It is not our policy that a hijab or any religious head covering be removed in order to pick up a SXSW badge. 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.”
When attendees arrive at the 10-day conference (which focuses on music, film, and interactive media), they are instructed to hand over a form of identification in order to receive their badge.
While there are no rules explicitly forbidding participants from wearing hijab or any other religious-based headcovering, there is a general regulation against hats.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Muhammad for more information.