An anti-Muslim protest at a local mosque takes an unexpected turn.
Just one woman showed up for what was supposed to be a big rally at the Noor Cultural Center in Dublin.
It was one of 20 planned at mosques around the country. Many Muslims and Muslim supporters showed up in anticipation of the protest. But it wound up being a conversation.
The woman said initially she didn’t like Muslims, that they were responsible for killings and beheadings in the Middle East. The group countered her claims and invited her in to the center for coffee.
Then one woman, Cynthia Cox De Bountinkhar, gave her a hug.
“I just held her and gave her a bear hug and I wouldn't let go, she was very like this, kind of tense and kind of shaking,” Boutinkhar said.
Boutinkhar admits she probably clung on a little long but that hug has now become a symbol.
“It just resonated with people that there is good and they're seeing a Muslim woman hugging somebody that despises us,” Boutinkhar said.
The hug lead to so much more. The woman accepted the invitation inside.
Boutinkhar gave the woman a tour of the center, had her sit in on prayers then talked religion for about two hours.
The story has now made national news. But it was the personal interaction with the woman that gets Boutinkhar teary-eyed.
“If there's that tiny bit of hope there, maybe there's hope for everybody,” Boutinkhar said.
10TV tried to get in touch with the protestor but were unable to reach her for comment.