Chalk it up to spreading hope.
Messages of love, compassion and support scrawled on the sidewalk of a mosque in Virginia is making folks on Twitter cry happy tears.
On Sunday, members of the Mubarak Mosque in Chantilly, Virginia were delighted to read, “You are loved,” “We are your brothers and sisters” and “We are with you” written in sidewalk chalk on the paths leading up to the building.
The messages were initially found by Tariq Amjed, president of the Central Virginia Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, as he was coming in for prayer on Sunday.
“We believe it was someone in our neighboring community,” Amjed told The Huffington Post. “We have been here for about four or five years now and we have a beautiful community of people around us. This proves it once more, and we hope they come visit our mosque.”
Images of the artwork were posted to the local Muslim youth group’s Twitter account the same day they were discovered.
The images soon went viral after Qasim Rashid, a member of the mosque, tweeted them out, adding a cheeky message:
“Some sneaky hooligans ‘vandalized’ my mosque in VA over the weekend. We came back to find this. <3 #MuslimAlly”
In a time of heightened Islamphobia due to President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, this sweet and simple act meant the world to this local community. This is despite that he softened his stance in May, calling the ban “just a suggestion.”
“It made us feel proud of our faith and proud of our nationality as Americans,” Tariq told HuffPost. “These moments of love for humanity go a long way, and we feel blessed to have received such wonderful compassion.”
If you would like to support the Muslim community, Tariq suggests getting involved in the True Islam campaign, which aims to educate people on the difference between Muslims from extremists.
“We believe that by standing together we can overcome the spike in anti-Muslim hatred we’ve seen,” he told HuffPost.