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Promoting peace, a UNLV Muslim student asks for hugs in a campus demonstration

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Photo: Aaron Mayes, UNLV Photo Services

One-Man Student Demonstration | UNLV Campus | December 1, 2015

Students Demonstrate at UNLV

I was scrolling through my Facebook News Feed Thursday morning when a shared status update with multiple photos caught my eye. It was written by someone I didn’t know, UNLV student Naweed Yusufzai, who had blindfolded himself near a busy campus walkway. On the heels of a similar demonstration in Paris, he stood with a sign that let readers know a little bit about him (I practice yoga, I pray/I love coffee and run Tough Mudders/I travel to teach kids English) and his thoughts on humanity (I smile at strangers to show them I care/I know we all struggle every single day/So know that I am here for you/I love you). In the end, it read: I am a Muslim/People call me a terrorist/I trust you/Do you trust me?/If yes … HUG ME.

With all the misguided vitriol being spewed toward the Muslim community, clicking through those Facebook photos felt inspiring. Embrace after embrace, Yusufzai’s peaceful demonstration promoting love, trust and acceptance was met with generous support from his fellow UNLV classmates.

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