It’s the moment of inter-religious compassion that’s gone viral. The simple gesture of a hug between a Muslim woman and an anti-Muslim protestor.
The successful attempt at universal friendship shows Cynthia Eugenia Cox de Boutinkhar in her headscarf, hugging the protestor.
Known as “Annie”, the lone protestor appeared outside Noor Islamic Cultural Centre in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday as part of a world-wide anti-Muslim rallies.
Ms de Boutinkhar simply approached Annie with outstretched arms to ask if she could give her a hug.
The woman was taken back by the request, but agreed.
“She was super tense, kind of shaking,” Ms de Boutinkhar told The Columbus Dispatch.
“I grabbed her — I don’t know why I did this — and her whole body just relaxed like a noodle. I backed away from her a little bit, and she smiled.”
Ms de Boutinkhar then said: “I’m an American, too”, and she invited her into the centre.
“I’ll stay right with you. I promise. I’ll stay right by your side.”
The two were greeted by a round of applause from members of inside the centre.
“Normally, I don’t go up to somebody who despises me and give them a hug,” she said.
“Something just came across me. Allah? I don’t know.”