Jewish family stands with Muslims to ‘trump’ Muslim ban
CHICAGO: A picture of a Jewish child protesting with a Muslim child against Donald Trump’s executive order to ban refugees for 120 days and people from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days went viral on social media.
Jews and Muslims are two religious communities who have almost never seen eye to eye ever since the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel. However, that still does not mean that all hope is lost and there will never be reconciliation between the two war-torn communities. A recent example lent credence to this hope when a photo of a Muslim female child protesting against Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ went viral–only for the sole reason that beside her was a Jewish child, hoisted on top of his father’s shoulders, protesting for the same cause.
Jewish Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell, of Deerfield lifted his 9-year-old son Adin on top of his shoulders as he proested at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Tuesday. Adin was wearing the traditional cap that Jews wear while holding the sign ‘Hate has no home here’. Beside him, also hoisted on her father’s shoulders, was 7-year-old Maryam. While Adin had wanted to get a better view of the protesting crowd at the airport, Maryam had requested her father, Fatih Yildirim, to lift her onto his shoulders since she was getting tired of standing on her feet.
Maryam, wearing the hijab, was carrying a sign that had ‘Love’ written all over it.
“I thought, ‘This is too good to be true. I’ve got a Muslim kid on one side, I’ve got a Jewish boy and his dad — all cute kids,'” said the photographer. “I knew that this was an important picture to make.”
“I knew I had my shot of the night. This is what it’s all about. It’s about human beings being together in harmony,” he further added.
The Jewish rabbi had brought his child to the airport to help him understand the values that his family believed in. Adin. the Jewish boy’s maternal grandparents had been Holocaust survivors who had lived in refugee camps. Meanwhile, Yildirim, the Muslim father of Maryam, had gone to the airport to provide lawyers who offering pro bono services to immigrants that had been detained, with cookies.
Yildirim stated that despite the apparent tensions between the Jews and the Muslims, people from both communities had a nice chat every now and then when they met up.
“I know the tension between the Jews and the Muslims. People think we hate each other. But we’re not fighting. When we come next to each other we can have normal conversations,” Yildirim said. “We can promote the peace together.”
When the children finally got off their dads’ shoulders, little Adin came up to Maryam and asked her name. Maryam shyly managed to respond with a ‘hello’ before both fathers exchanged numbers. And now, the Muslim family plans to attend a Shabbat dinner at the Bendat-Appells’ residence sometime next week.