Democratic Presidential Candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders spoke to students at George Mason University Wednesday when he was asked an unexpected question, which led him to make an unexpected friend.
During the Q&A portion, a student, Remaz Abdelgader, wearing a purple hijab stood to ask Sanders a question about the rhetoric from some candidates in the Republican Party.
Abdelgader began, “As an American Muslim student who inspires to change this world...”
Before she could continue, applause erupted from the crowd. Surprised and pleased, Sanders invited her onstage and hugged her.
She continued her question. “As an American Muslim student who inspires to change the world…hearing the rhetoric that is going on in the media makes me sick," Abdelgader said. "Because I, as an individual, I’m constantly trying to raise awareness and make sure that everyone is treated equally in this country. To the next President of the United States, what do you think about that?”
Sanders took her hand and walked her to the podium before responding.
“Let me be very personal here if I may. I’m Jewish. My father’s family died in concentration camps,” Sanders said. “I will do everything that I can to rid this country of the ugly stain of racism that has existed for far too many years."
Sanders added, “If we stand for anything we have to stand together and end all forms of racism in this country."
Abdelgader told ThinkProgress after the town hall that she was thrilled with Sanders' response. “If there’s anyone that should be elected to the White House, it’s him. He stands for everybody, whether you’re gay or Muslim or black or Christian or Latino. He is for equality," she said.