A Muslim woman who was photographed taking selfies in front of a Belgian protest last week, earning her widespread praise for her cheerful stance against bigotry, reportedly praised Hitler and called for the killing of Jews in past Facebook posts.
Zakia Belkhiri was photographed taking the selfies as she flashed a peace sign in front of Vlaams Belang protesters at the third annual Muslim Expo in Antwerp.The protests were part of the increasing resistance in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe to the flood of Muslim refugees pouring in from war-torn and poverty stricken countries in the Middle East and Africa.
"How To Neutralize Anti-Islam Protesters with a Selfie," was the headline of a Vice.com article where the photos by Jurgen Augusteyns initially appeared.
Belkhiri told the BBC she took the photos "to show that things can be different. And that we can live together, not next to each other but with each other."
Social media commenters called Belkhiri "a badass" who put anti-Islamist protesters in their place. But the newfound notoriety brought scrutiny of Belkhiri's alleged Facebook and Twitter posts by Breitbart.com and other sites. Many were far more disturbing than anything Belkhiri was protesting.
"Hitler didn't kill all the Jews, he left some," read one. "So we [would] know why he was killing them."
A Facebook post attributed to Belkhiri said, "F---ing Jews, I hate them so much."
Belkhiri briefly deactivated her Twitter account, then reactivated it to first deny the posts were hers and then to apologize and explain that she had meant "Zionists."