Libyan-American journalist and activist Noor Tagouri was the subject of ignorant comments and abuse regarding her faith and religion while visiting North Carolina’s Wingate University this week to deliver a keynote speech on breaking barriers through story-telling.
Shortly after her talk, Tagouri posted a series of emotional videos she took after she called her family and husband to let them know about the rampant Islamaphobia she faced, revealing that it wasn’t the first time she’s had to make these kinds of phone calls. “I haven’t rewatched this video, because cringe,” she captioned the post on Instagram Instagram. “I went back and forth about if I should post this, but the truth is, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. I’ve just never shared publicly before,” she reveals, recalling the instance she traveled throughout the Midwest alone in 2016.
The activist goes on to reveal that when she arrived to the university, she was informed that shocking and cruel messages were being posted about her at the school. The anti-Muslim vitriol included Islamophobic messages like “I hope Muslims die today” and “Good luck getting out of there alive tonight.” Tagouri adds that some parents didn’t allow their children to attend the talk in fear of what would happen.
In the text, she remembers the deaths of Deah Barakat, Yusor, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, who were killed in their home because of their faith only four-years-ago.
She admits that the school did everything in their power to ensure her safety, such as increasing security and offering her a bullet-proof vest, thanking Wingate, the women who brought her out, and “their community for the kindness and support throughout the day.”
“I don’t feel as upset as I did yesterday. The event went wonderfully. But spending the day anxious was a feeling I’ve felt so many times before,” she wrote, concluding with “I hope you choose kindness and love today and every day.”
The post received an outpour of support from her fans and friends who took to the comment section to share uplifting and sweet messages to the activist, including Ashley Graham, who wrote “I love you baby girl.”