When Alex Malloy, a resident of New York, boarded a cab at 11 p.m. on Friday, hours after the horrific Paris attacks, he did not expect this small act to mean so much to someone.
As soon as he was inside, the cab driver thanked him. Unsure of what the driver meant, Malloy decided to shrug it off. The taxi driver explained himself and his painful situation, leading to the most "heartbreaking conversation" Malloy had ever had.
The driver said that Malloy was his first customer in two hours. People had grown suspicious of his religion, Islam, and had avoided him throughout the night.
The taxi driver broke down told Malloy, "Allah, my God, does not believe in this! People think I’m a part of this and I’m not. Nobody wants to drive with me because they feel unsafe. I can’t even do my job."
My cab ride home, was the saddest moment I've experienced as apart of the human race. Please, stop generalizing ppl pic.twitter.com/O8PdtJlYCO— Alex (@alexmalloyy) November 14, 2015
The 23-year-old empathized with the driver, assuring him that he was not scared, and that he was happy to have the driver in U.S. However, it hurt him to think that someone around his age could be so dejected, so voiceless.
Therefore, when Malloy went home, he was determined to take this story to as many people as he could.
“Please stop saying ‘Muslims’ are the problem because they are not and they are feeling more victimized and scared to the day,” Malloy wrote. “These are our brothers and sisters as humankind, we are all humans underneath this skin. And they deserve nothing more than our respect and attention. They need our protection. Please stop viewing these beautiful human beings as enemies because they are not.”
He wrote about it on his Twitter account, happy that his story could reach 25 people.
But apparently, the story resonated with a lot of people. By next morning, there were 30,000 retweets of the original post, and the conversation was going viral.
Um, good morning? Holy.....shit....my mentions are out of control, but it makes me so happy reading the positive feed back from people. Wow— Alex (@alexmalloyy) November 14, 2015
Hopefully, there was one message we were able to pick from this. It is the easiest thing in the world to judge, to be fearful and close your hearts. It is easier to be terrorized, to isolate and demonize the "others."
It takes a lot more courage to actually open our hearts, to understand that this is not a war that we are fighting alone, and that instead of the perpetrators, these supposedly violent people, have been the greatest victims.