Over 300 people from all across the state of Ohio rallied in front of Mason Community Center in solidarity with Rawd Saleh, 41, Saleh said. The rally was in reaction to flyers allegedly posted around Saleh’s neighborhood with her address illustrated on a map and a picture of her titled “neighborhood terrorist warning.”
"As Americans, if we see suspicious activity, we should tell the authorities," Saleh told ABC News. "I don’t see any other suspicion that this person could’ve had other than I wear hijab."
Saleh said she has lived in Ohio for 35 years and Mason for a year. When the mother of three returned home last week after a weekend out of town, her neighbors notified her immediately about the alleged flyer labeling her as a terrorist and said that they had contacted the police, she said.
Saleh said that she was assured by her neighbors that they did not feel threatened by her and supported her living in the community.
Plans for the rally came about when Saleh was contacted by Sarah Martin, a nurse who said she received a flyer in her mailbox, and Martin's friend Cyndi Ritter, a licensed therapist.
All three met over coffee for the first time Friday discussing how to react to the alleged flyers in Mason and ultimately decided to organize a rally at the Mason Community Center for two days later, inviting their friends on Facebook.
Ritter, 31, told ABC News that she felt empowered after attending the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, adding that the march encouraged her to “[not] go back to your communities and just stay silent.”
“I think that when a hate crime like this happens that you need to have a swift reaction,” Ritter said, highlighting that this is only the third rally or demonstration she has been involved in, “which is why we had the rally two days after we planned it.”
As a woman born in Jerusalem to a Palestinian father and Turkish mother, Saleh said that she was shocked by the incident because Mason is such a diverse neighborhood.
Mason police are still investigating to determine who allegedly made and distributed the flyers.