Islamophobia in the United States has skyrocketed since 9/11, and unfortunately, some people still hold on to their negative perceptions about Muslims.
One man was doing just that when he sent hateful tweets to Virginia democratic congressional candidate Qasim Rashid. Rashid could have blocked the conservative constituent or sent back a snarky reply, but instead, he responded with kindness. You see, the man, Oz Dillon, is struggling with an incredible amount of medical debt and has a GoFundMe set up for anyone who might want to help him. Rashid found the GoFundMe and donated, according to Dillon, nearly $1,000.
Dillon saw the donation and wrote Rashid a “thoughtful, compassionate apology” and asked the candidate to come visit him. Rashid accepted, and now, the two men on opposite sides of the political spectrum, once connected only by hateful tweets, are now at the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Last week a Conservative constituent sent me deeply hurtful anti-Muslim tweets😓— Qasim Rashid for Congress (@QasimRashid) March 9, 2020
I replied by donating to his GoFundMe to help cover his crushing medical debt
He wrote me a thoughtful & compassionate apology & asked me to visit him
Today I met my new friend Oz😊#WinTheHearts pic.twitter.com/LUEp0LSzDf
Now, Dillon’s fundraiser is up to nearly $11,000 of its $26,000. Following the difficult, heartbreaking plea for help on the GoFundMe’s main page, he’s also included a beautiful comment thanking the candidate for his help.
“An amazing week of eye & heart opening enlightenment, that I used to always have before 9/11.
A Christian Muslim, Qasim Rashid, who I had previously opposed politically just because of the word Muslim, has opened my eyes that there are GOOD people in all walks of life. He shared our plight with his followers, who in turn donated nearly $1,000 dollars to help Terri & I get rid of this crushing debt.
I owe him, and everyone in fact, a deep debt of gratitude, and pray you are all rewarded tenfold, for your generosity.
Be blessed in all things,
THe Dillon’s “
In a follow-up tweet, Rashid said he’d be sharing the whole story soon, so keep an eye on his Twitter for updates about what transpired between the two unlikely pals!