By Debbie Gregory.
#IWillProtectYou is a promise from the social media community to a frightened 8-year old that she will not be persecuted for her religious beliefs.
In reaction to presidential front-runner Donald Trump calling for a ban all Muslim immigration into the United States, Sofia Yassini lived in fear, despite her mother Melissa’s reassurances.
Melissa Yassini said her daughter began “collecting all her favorite things in a bag in case the army “came to remove the family from their home.”
After reading a story about how Muslim parents across the United States are grappling with frightened children amid rising anti-Islam sentiment, Army veteran Kerri Peek wrote about Sofia on her Facebook page, and called on soldiers to reassure her.
“Post a picture of you in uniform with the hashtag#IWillProtectYou to let these children know that we will not hurt them,” Peek wrote in a December 17th Facebook post. “That they are safe here in America. That we will protect innocents as we always have.”
Chris Henricksen posted, “Sofia, I have not been in the Navy for over 20 years, but, as a proud veteran, I promise that #iwillprotectyou.”
Mediocre Jedi posted, “Sofia, there are far more good people than bad in this world. We’ve got your back. #iwillprotectyou.”
Vickie Gallup posted, “Sofia, I may be old now but as a veteran of the United States Army and a grandma, #iwillprotectyou. Hugs and kisses.”
On December 30th, Peek posted that there is still more to be done, with the planned launch of the website iwillprotectyou.net, which is currently under construction.
Melissa Yassini said she and her daughter are overwhelmed by the support.
“Christians, atheists, Jews, every walk of life, every stage, have reached out to Sofia and I with overwhelming support and love.”
It is perhaps best summed up by Billy Griffin, who posted, “Thank you to my fellow service members & vets, showing the very best of our country. #iwillprotectyou.”