In response to the distressing high levels of Islamophobia, particularly in the last year or so, Mona Haydar decided to do her part in combating negative stereotypes so she set up a booth outside a library in Cambridge, Mass. with a big sign declaring: “Ask a Muslim.” Offering free coffee and donuts, Ms. Haydar hoped this gesture offered a chance for random non-Muslims to make a connection with someone who is Muslim.
As Ms. Haydar reflected in her Facebook page: “We weren’t out there that long today but the take away was clear: Keep your heads held high, dear Muslim family. The world is a good and beautiful place with small pockets of hatred here and there. There is an overwhelming amount of love and so remember this post when you are faced with bigotry and hatred towards you or your faith. Remember that you have supporters too. When you are faced with difficulty, remember that ease is right around the corner. Remember that you are as American as apple pie.”
According to Vox, this friendly activism has since “spurred hundreds of ‘ask a Muslim’ pop-ups all over the country.” Ms Haydar says that “it’s that magic connection that I want to be the lasting thing from Ask a Muslim.”
This story is featured on “The Secret Life of Muslims” — be sure to watch the accompanied clip!