Community members at a Fayetteville Islamic center and mosque got a kind surprise after leaving a class.
The Islamic Community Center of Atlanta posted a copy of a note to its Facebook page from someone who describes herself as a “white atheist woman.”
According to the posting, several members of the Islamic Community Center found the note and a $20 bill on Tuesday after leaving a ladies’ class. The note doesn’t specify whether the act was in response to Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country or incidents of anti-Muslim rhetoric and harassment that have been reported since the California attacks.
The note, handwritten on white notebook paper reads:
“Hello, I’m a white Atheist woman, but I strongly (underlined) believe that everyone (underlined) has the right to practice their religion in a safe place no matter what their religion is. I’m sorry for any negativity you may have experienced because of ignorant 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.”
The Islamic Community Center of Atlanta is located in Fayetteville.
Huma Faruqi, secretary of the board and a teacher there, said a group was leaving a class, going out the door when they spied the note in a sandwich bag.
“We didn’t think it was anything positive,” she said. But they were delighted when they read the note. “It shows America has not changed,” she said.
Ever since she and her family moved to the United States from Abu Dhabi, they have experienced kindness, she said.
Since the San Bernardino attack by what authorities describe as a “radicalized” Muslim couple, however, the anti-Muslim rhetoric has increased.
The GOP frontrunner’s comments have drawn anger, disgust and ridicule from Muslims and others in the United States and abroad.
It has drawn cheers as well.
There should be a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” Trump said in a statement issued Monday.
There have also been reported incidents of harassment nationally, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The Philadelphia chapter of CAIR, for instance, reported on its website that earlier this week a severed pig’s head was thrown outside the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society.
Faruqi, though, has witnessed other acts of kindness. During her regular walk, neighbors who never acknowledged her before have waved and smiled. Then, a fast food worker was extra friendly. This is the America, she and others say, that they have come to call home.