It was taken at the Islamic Center in Irving
A photo featuring a Texas man holding a sign that says “You belong” outside the Islamic Center of Irving is going viral. The photo gained attention after being posted to Reddit by user Kolmias and later, Twitter, earning over 160,000 favorites. The photo is a message of support for the Muslim community as hate crimes of against the group have seen a sharp increase after the election of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
A representative from the Islamic Center says the man has been seen outside of the mosque holding his sign over the past several days. His message of solidarity is especially important during this time of uncertainty for many Muslims across the country. President-elect Trump has proposed a total ban on Muslims entering the U.S. from abroad and has even considered creating a registry to keep tabs on Muslims living in the U.S.
The site of the photo also has significance because the Islamic Center been a flashpoint for anti-Islamic sentiment over the past few years. In 2015, a Facebook user falsely accused people in the mosque of settling disputes through Sharia law, prompting the mayor to announce that Muslims were trying to destroy America “from within.” The center has also been the site of several anti-Muslim protests, including one in November 2015 where Islamophobes stood outside of the center with long guns and signs reading “Stop the Islamization of America.”