At a time when hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs are on the rise, this woman's act of kindness goes a long way.
In a now-viral post uploaded to Reddit's Made Me Smile forum, user Rohit_sai1289 uploaded a photo of a note a white, atheist woman left for a mosque in a show of solidarity. Along with the note, the kind woman left a $20 bill as a donation to the place of religious worship. She even took the time out to write out "best wishes" in Arabic. Hundreds of fellow users on the website expressed their appreciation for her act of kindness, rewarding the original poster with numerous Reddit awards. Many were motivated to spread the love, just as she did.
"Hello, I'm a white, atheist woman, but I strongly believe that everyone has the right to practice their religion in a safe place no matter what their religion is," the woman's note reads. "I'm sorry for any negativity you may have experienced because of fear-mongering. Where there's hate there is a greater amount of love, and you are loved. I know $20 isn't much, but I hope it helps with something." She signs off the note in Arabic, which is meant to translate to "best wishes." She writes, "I'm sorry if this is incorrect, but I wanted to try to say 'best wishes' in Arabic."
According to a 2019 report by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, the fear of and discrimination against Muslims is on the rise in the United States. Policies such as the Patriot Act and the 2017 Muslim Ban, which disproportionately targeted and impacted Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Americans, are an example of this. In addition to this, hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs have also increased in the past few years. FBI hate crime data from 1995 shows a steady increase in anti-Islamic and anti-Arab motivated hate crimes, with the annual average anti-Islamic hate crime count at 163.78 hate crimes.
The hate crime has steadily increased in the west since the past few years against all religious minorities with main focus on Islam, Specially in the United Kingdom, the United States and #Canada.#Islamophobia #USA pic.twitter.com/wEU26BdCXo— Says Pakistan (@Says_Pakistan) October 17, 2019
Therefore, the woman's note comes at a time when displaying solidarity is more important than ever before. Reddit users in the comments section recognized this as well. One user commented, "Humans loving humans despite different opinions and faith. Imagine this on a larger scale. Incredible." Another added, "MashAllah. This is so kind of her. May Allah bless her... Nothing you give in the way of Allah ever goes in vain." Finally, one user recognized how they, too, could contribute. "This has inspired me to give to the synagogue down the street," they wrote. "They were recently vandalized." (And for those wondering, the woman's Arabic was perfect, as a Reddit user pointed out: "I’m Arab and I can’t even write like that! She did it perfectly.")