A Christian man was spotted reading the bible and making the sign of the cross among thousands of Muslims who were bowing down and performing their Friday prayers.
The Cable News Network (CNN) took a photo of Nidal Aboud in Wadi el-Joz neighborhood, where thousands of Muslims gathered for the Friday prayer outside the old city of Jerusalem. The worshipers gathered in defiance of the decision of Israel to set up metal detectors at the entrances of Haram al-Sharif, a place deemed holy for Muslims.
As the Muslims said in one loud and harmonic voice Allahu Akbar or – Allah is the greatest – Nidal stood to listen respectfully.
The photo of Nidal was widely shared on social media as it represents a symbol of coexistence, unity, and integration of different faiths in the Palestinian society. As the Muslims were trying to protest the decision of Israel, Nidal chose to stand by his fellow citizens.
Prior to the time of the photo, Nidal never joined the prayers of Muslims, he told the CNN. However, he said he wanted to stand alongside Muslims as they worshiped on that day.
Nidal says that ever since he was a child, he dreamt of spreading love in the world and in people’s hearts. He continued that he asked his Muslim friends for their permission to pray among them and they welcomed him, stressing that he didn’t feel out of place.
Nidal called on all Christians to unite with Muslims against the “blatant unfairness”, and urged Jews as well to stand against what he calls the Israeli occupation.