Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric has slowly become a norm, an acceptable way many Americans view a primarily peaceful group of over 1 billion individuals. This rhetoric has seeped into normal cultural conversation, exemplified more than ever by an eight-year-old Muslim girl’s fears.
According to a Facebook post by her mother, Sofia Chance-Yassini was watching the news when she cried after hearing that “someone with yellow hair named Trump wanted to kick all Muslims out of America. She had began collecting all her favorite things in a bag in case the army came to remove us from our homes. She checked the locks on the door 3-4 times.”
This heartbreaking image inspired Army veteran Kerri Peek, who shared a picture of herself and wrote to Sofia’s mother, Melissa, asking to “Please show this picture of me to your daughter. Tell her I am a Mama too and as a soldier I will protect her from the bad guys.”
Peek created the hashtag #IWillProtectYou, urging other veterans to demonstrate support for Sofia and any other Muslim children who may feel targeted.
She expressed to Upworthy that, “It bothered me all night…This rhetoric and fear, hate, and violence is not okay. It's not the United States that I would fight for. I was awake all night.”
The plea generated an outpouring of support—the hashtag went viral, with hundreds of soldiers offering their protection and loyalty.
Melissa Chance-Yassini feels the impact of this. “I read each and every message to her," she told Upworthy. "And she now understands that we’re all part of a fabric which is America."
Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @ABC