Paula here. I was in a Montreal suburb with my wife, Trish. There was a lovely park and a children’s playground. Along the footpath was a seat that was also a swing. Three Muslim women were sitting on it. As I walked by I said, “Adults Should Have Fun, Too!” I had no idea if they spoke English or French, but one of them replied in perfect English. “I agree.” We all smiled at one another. I walked on with Trish and said, “I’d like to ask permission to take their picture.” I did and they agreed.
I was introduced to mother and sister who both were visiting from Algeria. They wanted me to sit in the middle and our picture was taken again. I put my hand around the mother (not thinking of any rules) and she took my other hand in hers. So as people walked by, here I was with my arm around a Muslim mother and she hold my other hand. It felt perfect. We said ‘goodbye’ and Trish and I stopped to take pictures of the Canada geese by the rapids of the river. Then I heard our names being called. Miriam was inviting us to dinner. She told us that she would cook for us. Unfortunately, we have to drive home tomorrow and there was no time left. We exchanged emails.
Miriam told us that she embraced all religions because in her words, “there is ONE God.” It is so easy for society to brand all Muslims as terrorists and all gays as perverts!
I just wanted to share this story with you. I do not want to post their photo. I’d rather use the encounter as a universal photo of love and our ability as humans to reach out to minorities.