The Inspiring Story Behind This Viral Photo From The #MuslimBan Protests Will Make You Stop And Think

A photograph of a rabbi, a Muslim and their two children meeting at an anti #Muslimban protest has gone viral, and it's not hard to see why

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Earlier this week, thousands of protesters took to the streets to protest Donald Trump's controversial #MuslimBan on immigration.

Outside several of the US' international airports, taxi drivers were photographed ditching their cabs to go on strike and citizens of all ages were seen chanting 'No ban no wall', 'No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here'.

Meanwhile, others lined the arrival terminals, holding placards with messages to welcome 'green-card' holders back to the US who had been detained at customs for hours fearing deportation.

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However, one image in particular from the protests has caught the attention of the world, spreading the important message of empathy, understanding and love.

On Monday, Chicago Tribune photographer Nuncio DiNuzzo snapped a loving moment between two parents and their children during a protest inside O'Hare International Airport.

In the photo, Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell and Muslim father Fatih Yildirim can be seen chatting and laughing while their children – nine-year-old Adin and seven-year-old Meryem – sit on their shoulders, holding up placards that read 'Home Has No Home Here' and 'Love Is Love'.

Having met on the day of the protest Bendat-Appell told The Huffington Post: 'My son, Adin, wanted to move closer to the front of the crowd so he could see people better when they passed by.

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'He was very excited to be there! He asked to go on my shoulders and we found ourselves next to Fatih and his family,' he added.

Describing the moment when the photograph was captured, the Rabbi revealed the fathers were talking about where's a good place to go in Chicago to find kosher steak.

'What was wonderful was that it was a very human interaction ― not a Jew and Muslim, but two human beings (who look enough alike to be brothers!), standing up for what is right,' he admitted.

Nuncio DiNuzzo via Getty
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According to Bendat-Appell, who works at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning, he and Yildirim have since swapped contact details and will soon be meeting up for Shabbat dinner with their families.

'I'm making steak, he is bringing baklava,' he joked.

DiNuzzo tweeted the photo shortly afterwards and posted it with the caption 'Untitled'. It has since received over 10,000 retweets and 16,000 'likes'.

What was wonderful was that it was a very human interaction.

Explaining his reason for taking his child to the protest earlier this week, the rabbi told the publication: 'We feel that as Jews it is our obligation to stand up for the oppressed; our history of persecution comes to teach us that we must not be silent in the face of injustice.

'I hope that when people see this photo ― and I believe Fatih is with me on this ― that people see that we can come together, that we are all human beings and even children can understand that we have a simple choice to make as human beings: We can choose to be loving and kind even if we have reason to fear and mistrust.

'We are happy if this photograph can bring a bit more love and light into this world,' he added.

In times of darkness, let us all look to this photo to see the hope, love and solidarity in society that can never be silenced.

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