Live

Watch CBSN Live

Photo of 91-year-old's kind act toward Muslim doctor goes viral

To some, it's just a picture of a doctor and his sweet 91-year-old patient. To Dr. Fahim Rahim, it's a picture of the "American spirit."

With a harsh debate on Muslims taking place across the U.S., the first generation Pakistani immigrant was feeling stressed as he walked into work at the Idaho Kidney Institute last week. Putting his feelings aside, the doctor checked his schedule and was ready to see one of his regulars.

He took a deep breath, turned the door knob and was greeted by a grinning woman he calls "Grandma Louise."

"I have these for you," she said, holding up several crocheted stuffed animals. "I know how you feel."

Shocked, Rahim took an animal in one hand and put the other around the woman's shoulder to thank her for the gift.

A photo of the kind gesture that he posted on his Facebook page went viral -- with more than 33,000 likes and nearly 8,000 shares.

"If you look at this, you see two very different people. She's 91, Caucasian; I'm less than half her age, brown, an American immigrant," Rahim told CBS News. "We have nothing common -- just a patient and a doctor. I'm her doctor, but she's the one who healed my wounds."

Earlier that day, Rahim was on a local radio station responding to recent comments made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Apparently, Louise had heard the radio interview and wanted to show her solidarity.

"Not every Muslim is a terrorist," Rahim said. "Not every citizen is following the rhetoric of Trump."

On Monday, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

Rahim said that although the GOP hopeful is taking the issue "to a crazy level," he's thankful Trump has forced Muslims to be more vocal.

In fact, he even invited Trump to his home state of Idaho to discuss the topic more.

"I don't think [Trump] has close Muslim American friends," Rahim said. "Most of this hate and fear comes from not knowing."

Rahim hopes Louise's thoughtful words and actions will reach Trump and inspire others to communicate more with one another.

"Your humanity, love and enlightenment are a beam of hope in a dark time," one Facebook user commented on Rahim's post.

"God bless us all and help us learn to love unconditionally," another added.

"I posted this for the Muslim community -- people in world -- to know what Trump is saying does not reflect American sentiment," he said. "What this woman did and said is the true American spirit."

So My 91 yrs old patient heard how #Trump has been attacking "me The American Muslim" so here she brings me these little...

Posted by Fahim Rahim on Monday, December 7, 2015