Selfie-girl apologises for anti-Semitic remarks

London, May 24 (IANS) Zakia Belkhiri, a teenager who became famous as “selfie girl” after clicking self-portraits in front of anti-Muslim protestors in Belgium, has issued an apology after several anti-Semitic comments posted on her social media accounts were highlighted.

Belkhiri was widely praised after photos emerged last week showing her standing in front of a right-wing populist and Flemish nationalist political party called Vlaams Belang as they protested at the Muslim Expo in Antwerp city in Belgium, the Telegraph reported on Monday.

A group of protestors had gathered outside the expo, which celebrates Muslim lifestyle, art and culture, with signs including messages such as “No headscarves” and “Stop Islam”.

But her fame was cut down when journalists unearthed a number of anti-Semitic comments, some dated back to 2012, that she posted on her social media accounts.

In one 2012 tweet she wrote: “Hitler did not kill all the Jews, he left some. So we know why he was killing them.”

And in a 2014 Facebook post she said of Jews: “I hate them so much.”

Soon these comments began to draw attention and Belkhiri resorted to Twitter and posted a tweet in her defence: “My opinion many years ago was meant on the zionist back then, that spread hate instead of love so to all the other jews peace be upon you!”

“You meant that Zionist Jews deserve to die?” one Twitter user asked her in reply.

She subsequently published a lengthy statement on Twitter, apologising “to everyone in the Jewish community which I have hurt with my comments of several years ago.”

Belkhiri has since deactivated her social media presences.

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