A Muslim woman's Facebook post describing her encounter with a Jewish man is going viral.
Leena Al-Arian, from the Boston area, was in a Barnes & Noble with her daughters when she saw stranger approaching her.
The man, named Lenny, started talking to the mother, telling her that her daughters were beautiful. He then gave a heartfelt apology for the anti-Muslim sentiment in society today.
“He had tears in his eyes and told me that it must be so hard to turn on the news, that he feels awful about the bigotry my kids might one day experience, and that as a Jewish man whose parents didn’t speak any English growing up, he personally understands what it feels like to be rejected and discriminated against,” Al-Arian wrote in her Facebook post.
Al-Arian, who brought her 4-year-old and 20-month-old daughters to Barnes & Noble to meet the characters from children's cartoon show "Paw Patrol," spoke to Yahoo News about the incident.
“There’s been so much hostility toward Muslims, and this hateful rhetoric has become mainstream," the mother said. "I wanted people to know that there’s still goodness, kindness, compassion and love of humanity. Love trumps the politics of fear.”
Lenny assured the mother that while there is a prominent anti-Muslim sentiment, most Americans are not prejudiced against Muslims and don't believe everything they hear from the news.
Lenny then offered to buy presents for Al-Arian's daughter, but she suggested that they simply take a picture together. He wound up buying presents anyway.
Al-Arian says she thinks her daughters are "a little bit too young to understand still the general hostility towards Muslims," but added that "they saw the emotion for sure, especially my older one."
The mother shared the Facebook post on Lenny's birthday.
"Since his birthday is today, I want him to know that thousands of people around the world have heard about his act of kindness and responded with an outpouring of love and birthday wishes in return," she told Yahoo News. "I hope he will consider this my gift to him."