The father of the youngest victim of last week’s tragic terror attacks in Cambrils and Barcelona hugged a local imam in an emotional protest against terror and Islamophobia.
Xavier Martinez, who lost his three-year-old son Xavi in the attack on Las Ramblas avenue, embraced Spanish imam Driss Salym in the town of Rubi, near Barcelona on Friday. The video of the two hugging, defiantly showing unity and compassion, was widely shared on social media.
Hugging tightly, the pair started crying as they shared each other’s pain.
Local website El Periodico reported that Martinez also delivered an emotional speech for the occasion, thanking the people of Barcelona and the local emergency services that helped the victims of the attack.
“Thank you all. I love seeing that the Rambla is full again. Let there be no fear.”
“I need to hug a Muslim. These people should not have fear,” he said, with not a single grimace of hatred on his face. He also said that he doesn’t want his son to have died in vain.
Three-year-old Xavi was walking down Las Ramblas with his mother, father and great uncle, Francisco Lopez Rodriguez, when a van rammed into pedestrians killing him, his uncle and 12 others.
The family was in Barcelona to visit family.
15 people were killed and 120 wounded when vehicles were deliberately rammed into pedestrians in Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils.
Police say a 12-member terrorist cell was behind the carnage. The four surviving members – three Moroccans and one Spaniard – are facing murder and terrorism charges.