Islamophobia Creates Unexpected Friendship (Photos)

| by David Bonner
Jiva Akbor and BeverleyJiva Akbor and Beverley

On a flight from Scotland to Spain, a reportedly Scottish passenger named Beverley was frightened when she noticed that the passenger sitting next to her, Jiva Akbor, texted the word "Allah."

Akbor described the scene on her Facebook status, explaining that Beverley immediately got up from her seat and alerted the flight crew what there was a Muslim on board who was texting in Arabic, reports the Daily Mail.

After being told to sit back down, Beverley confessed to Akbor that her texting had frightened her. So Akbor explained to Beverley that “Allah” means “God” in Arabic -- the official language of more than 200 million people, notes the BBC.

Fortunately, the awkward scene turned out to be a lesson in peace and love, as Akbor recounted in her 1,821-word Facebook post, which she herself described as an “uber long read.”

She explained, “I’m just a regular Muslim girl [traveling], on my way to tour Spain, I was born and bred in Greater Manchester, England,” and that Beverley had “nothing to worry about being sat next to me.”

After chatting with Akbor, Beverley reportedly realized that she was not a Muslim terrorist after all. “Before too long I could [hear] remorse in her tone, I think she was shocked at her own reaction and the realization of what she had thought of me was setting in,” Akbor continued.

Summing up, Akbor wrote:

Today I had one of the most interesting and most memorable flights of my life. I made a friend called Beverley who made a mistake and acknowledged it. I met a lady who is deep down inside a wonderful, wonderful human and showed me that the fear-mongering purposely and strategically carried out in this world by the powers-that-be today are very, very real and can make an ordinary person have the most shocking of reactions.

Beverley agreed that the media was to blame for her Islamophobia: "It's so scary what the media can make us think,” she concluded.

Sources: Daily Mail, BBC / Photo credit: Jiva Akbor/Facebook via Daily Mail, Jiva Akbor/Instagram via Daily Mail

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