- She was all by herself….Before the stabbing and before students’ collective sense of security got shattered
- Duaa, 17, was sitting in her class and everything was normal —
- Seconds later, she and her classmates found themselves running as fast as they could to the mosque.
- She entered the code to unlock the doors and ushered more than 100 students inside.
A Muslim student, Duaa Ahmad, opened the doors of her mosque as a shelter, enabling more than 100 students to flee a high school stabbing in Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Duaa remained outside the building, ushering her classmates into the religious building before finally getting herself to safety.
“Everybody was terrified. People were crying and trying to comfort everybody. It was just so hectic,” Duaa said. “We were so confused why we had to run, why we had to evacuate, what was going on.”
Duaa, 17, was sitting in her second-period class, AP English Literature, and Composition, at Oshkosh West High School when she found herself running as fast as they could from the building after hearing gunshots.
Heading to the mosque across the street, she entered the code to unlock the doors and ushered more than 100 students inside.
I am a student at oshkosh west. the attacker and officers were shot but everyone else is fine, thank God.
— duaa ahmad | دعا احمد (@duaaahmadd) December 3, 2019
In a surveillance video from the mosque, Duaa appeared holding the door open and waving students in before her. Then she called her father, Saad Ahmad, to let him know she’d opened the mosque.
Saad rushed from work, and soon they were providing coffee and water to the crowd of students who sought shelter inside the place of worship.
“That first hour was very stressful because we had no idea how bad the situation really was, or was not,” he said.
“I was quite impressed with her composure throughout all this,” he said of his daughter.
Video of Duaa opening the door went viral on social media, garnering hundreds of comments and shares. The video on Twitter, for instance, had more than 100,000 views on Wednesday evening.
“Glad the mosque could be a safe place for these kids, which is what every place of worship should always be — a place of safety for all, regardless of who you are,” one person wrote.
“Good humans doing good things,” someone else wrote.
Sofia Qureshi, a member of Oshkosh’s small Muslim community, said in an email she was “proud that Duaa bravely opened the doors of the mosque to all during a time of fear and uncertainty and that our mosque was able to serve as a beacon of peace, security, and unity.”
While she didn’t consider her actions heroic, her father and uncle were stunned when they saw the video.
“When I look at the video now, I feel pride,” Saad Ahmad, her father, told ABC News.
“Her composure is remarkable in that situation,” he said. “I don’t know how I would react in that situation.”
Stories of brave Muslim women are recurrent in the media.
Last week, a Muslim woman was hailed as “incredibly brave” for stepping in to confront a man over his anti-Semitic rant at a Jewish father and son on the London underground.