A Muslim man stood at the location of a recent terror attack in Barcelona offering hugs to passersby. Next to him was a sign that read: “I am Muslim, I am not a terrorist. I share hugs of love and peace.”
Just days after twin attacks claimed by the Islamic State left 15 dead in the Catalan city, he offered an embrace to those who still trusted him.
The response from the public? Lots of hugs.
The man, whose name is not known, embraced several people on Las Ramblas, the street where a van plowed into a crowd and killed 13, while injuring several others just days before. One woman at Sunday’s demonstration told Spanish newspaper El Pais, that the man repeatedly asked for forgiveness while hugging her daughter.
“No innocent person should have to be forced to apologize for something he has not done,” another woman said. “I was only able to cry and thank him.”
Muslim members of the community also took to the city’s streets Monday, in order to speak up against the attack. During the rally, they held up signs that read “Islam = Peace,” and “Muslims against Terrorism.”
These weren’t the only displays of unity that showcased the city’s resilient spirit in wake of the deadly attacks.
In a touching video posted by BBC News Friday, the father of the attack’s youngest victim, three-year-old Xavier Martinez, embraced Spanish imam Driss Salym.
The gesture prompted a roaring applause from the crowd.