It only took a few days after the 2016 election before kindhearted people began leaving anonymous handwritten notes of hope on the doors of U.S. mosques. And now, in Virginia, a Muslim man received a similar message taped to his apartment door.
Wathiq, who is originally from Iraq, spotted a note from his neighbors Alex and Elena on November 11. In the note, the sympathetic neighbors acknowledged the recent rise of xenophobia and religious intolerance in America and attributed the racism to a small portion of the population.
"We would like you to know: Not all Americans are like this," the neighbors wrote to Wathiq. "Many of us support tolerance, inclusion and equal opportunity for everyone. We know that America is great because of its diversity and its freedoms and we will work hard to make sure this remains the case."
Alex and Elena concluded the letter by confirming that America can be "safe and welcoming for everyone."
After reading the letter, Wathiq shared the note with his friend Nazar Kradi.
"It just takes one initiative to start something good in the society and kind of tackle this negative attitude that's trying to overtake society," Kradi told Richmond television station WRIC.
Kradi posted a photo of the letter to Facebook on November 15..
While writing a kind letter can be one approach to stomping out Islamophobia, there are many ways to make a difference. For example, when witnessing Islamophobic harassment in a public place, everyone has a responsibility to build a safe space for Muslims by engaging in a respectful conversation.
A Plus reached out to Kradi for a comment.