You've probably noticed that anti-Muslim sentiments have become more common and more blatant recently.

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris by ISIS (or, if you like, Daesh) extremists and the mass shooting in San Bernardino by two people who claimed to be Muslim, a lot of Americans are allowing their thinking to be replaced by fear. Some people are even reacting violently.

Others are working hard to find justification for their beliefs — even if they're not acting out.

One of the things I've noticed is that in support of anti-Muslim comments, many people keep offering up quotes from the Quran.


Image by Metropolico.org/flickr.

They do that as justification for their belief that Islam is founded on violence and that the religion teaches its followers to act violently — and as such, we should be worried that any Muslim could be a violent terrorist. I've also seen several people refer to the marriage of very young girls as being in the Quran — as justification that Islam is just incompatible with Western ways of life.

I mean ... sigh.

I think most rational people know better. But for those who don't, some folks carried out a little experiment to make a point.

They took a Bible and wrapped it in a different cover, making it appear to be a Quran.

All following GIFs and images by Dit Is Normaal, a group based in the Netherlands. The video is in Dutch and subtitled in English.

Then they found some passages that aren't exactly compatible with the way most Westerners live these days.

Passages like:

"A woman should live in quietness and full submission."

"If you reject my commands and abhor my laws, you will eat the flesh of your own sons. And your own daughters."

"I don't allow for a woman to teach. You will have to cut off her hand. Do not forgive her."

"If two men sleep with each other, they will both have to be killed."

When the interviewers asked passersby what they thought of those passages, they were honest.

Believing they were being read passages from the Quran, people reacted with surprise, disgust, and negativity.

The interviewers also asked how the Quran compared to the Bible.

That's when the interviewers let the folks in on what we knew all along: These aren't teachings of the Quran.

They're Bible verses.

Everyone was visibly surprised.

The lesson, of course, is that we need to step back and look at what we're doing here.

This guy gets it:

The best part of this video is that the folks were willing to acknowledge their biases.

Nobody got defensive or angry. They realized what happened.

Information comes at us from many directions and is often framed in a way that influences our thinking. This woman sums things right up:

And so does this man. We need to step back and think it through.

Religions adapt and change with the times.

The Quran, like the Bible, is very old. Muslims don't follow every last word verbatim, just as Christians don't follow every last word in the Bible verbatim. That's ridiculous.

We need to stop applying a double standard.

If we're going to assume that radicals who commit terrorism in the name of Islam are representative of Muslims, we must do the same with radicals who commit terrorism and proclaim to be Christians.

I think we all know better — the Planned Parenthood shooter doesn't represent the great majority of Christians, nor do the San Bernardino shooters represent the great majority of Muslims.

Let's keeps our fears in check and remember that Muslims are peaceful people. They want to raise their families and enjoy their lives and have the same opportunities as anyone else. It's pretty simple.

You can watch the full video here. It's worth it to see how the biases that people probably don't even realize they have influence their thoughts:

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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