‘YOU BELONG’ TEXAS MAN DRAWS ATTENTION FOR HOLDING SIGN OUTSIDE DALLAS MOSQUE

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Somebody posted an image of this man standing outside a mosque in Dallas to the social-aggregating site Reddit.

From there it went viral.

But what is the story behind this man?

A photo of the man, who was later identified as Justin Normand, was shared on Twitter on Friday — and it quickly went viral with more than 63,000 retweets.

The picture sparked a mixture of feelings for Twitter users, but dozens of people ultimately applauded Normand’s action.

“Brave soul and #MuslimAlly,” the True Islam campaign replied on Twitter. “We are grateful for his demonstration of solidarity. Thank you, Sir.”

“This made me misty eyed. Bless that man. Very courageous thing to do in this day & age, especially in red states,” another user commented.

Normand, the manager of a local sign shop, said he felt the urge to do this for about a week or so.

On Friday, he had a couple of hours to spare. So, he made a sign and drove to a nearby mosque.

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“[I] stood out on the public sidewalk to share the peace with my neighbors. My marginalized, fearful, decent, targeted, Muslim neighbors,” Normand wrote in a Facebook post, which was shared by more than 16,000 people.

The Texas resident then explained in a facebook post why he felt compelled to take a stand:

It wasn’t about demonstrating my outrage to right-wing drivers driving down Esters Road in front of the mosque. I can never, and will never, change any of the haters. It’s not about them. Not this time, and not here.

This was about binding up the wounded. About showing compassion and empathy for the hurting and fearful among us. Or, in some Christian traditions, this was about washing my brother’s feet.

This was about my religion, not theirs.

And, it was about what I think I must do as an American when our way of life is threatened. Targeting people for their religion not only threatens our way of life, it is the polar opposite of our way of life.

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