by Nomaan Merchant
Dec 24, 2015
One reader, Kerri Peek, wrote about Sofia and called on soldiers to reassure her. Thousands did. Many posted messages of support with selfies of themselves in combat uniforms. The hashtag was trending in several cities this week. "#Iwillprotectyou with my last breath Sofia!" wrote Brandon Sterne, a 22-year Navy veteran who served in Iraq.
Sofia Yassini, 8, poses outside a mosque in Richardson, Texas, Dec. 11, 2015. After seeing presidential candidate Donald Trump call for barring Muslims from entering the country, the 8-year-old started packing her favorite things. (AP Photo/LM Otero)DALLAS -- Melissa Yassini and her 8-year-old daughter, Sofia, spend some time every evening reading messages from the thousands of people who have told Sofia not to be afraid just because she's Muslim.
Sofia's story of terror that she would be forced to leave America inspired a social media campaign with a hashtag, "#IWillProtectYou," that has generated posts from soldiers, veterans and others supporting her.
"A lot of them, they call her out by name," Melissa Yassini said on Wednesday. "That's very important to her."
Melissa Yassini originally shared her daughter's response to Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump calling for a ban all Muslim immigration into the United States.
Sofia heard about Trump's proposal while the family was watching the evening news. While Trump has said he isn't targeting American Muslims, her mother said Sofia didn't make that distinction.
She packed a bag with Barbie dolls, a tub of peanut butter and a toothbrush. And she checked the locks of her family's home because she thought soldiers were coming to take her away.
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