Woman wearing hijab takes smiling picture in front of anti-Islam protesters

Woman wearing hijab takes smiling picture in front of anti-Islam protesters

Over the weekend, a young woman named Shaymaa Ismaa'eel attended a conference in Washington D.C. held by the Islamic Circle of North America, when she saw a group of protesters holding signs against the Muslim faith and the Prophet Muhammad.

The protest was causing a lot of tensions.

Others were too intimidated to respond, saying they avoided confronting the protesters - but Ms Ismaa'eel said she asked a friend to snap the photo, because she wanted to combat the hatred with kindness and a sense of fun.

"I wanted them to see the smile on my face, and see how happy I was to be me and walk around being a Muslim woman", she said. In response, she crouched in front of them and flashed a peace sign.

'I kept thinking about them during the workshops.

Shaymaa, who is a behavioural therapist as well as a budding lifestyle YouTuber, explained she first saw the protesters as she arrived for the second day of the conference. "'What if we had a loud speaker so they can hear the attractive things we're learning about our beloved prophet?!' I kept thinking to myself".

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"My face honestly lit up when I had seen", she said. "I wanted to show them that we are going to remain kind and unapologetic, and continue to spread love in the face of bigotry". "Can you take a picture?'" she told the publication.

The picture went viral on the social media platform, with more than 100,000 likes, and on Twitter, it was liked more than 150,000 times. I asked the police officer if I could stand at the curb in front of the men.

Shaymaa says her mom messaged her to tell her to be "aware of her surroundings" because 'it's clear people like that typically aren't the kindest'. The officer said "no", and in that moment I felt like the biggest rebel.

"Homeboy was like, "You know it's a cult when you're walking around wearing pajamas" Had me rolling!" she wrote on Instagram, with three crying laughing emojis.

In spite of the hateful speech which Shaymaa and her friends were subjected to, she maintains she had a great time at the convention, and that it didn't ruin the experience for her "in the slightest". "She's constantly reminding me to pray over myself".

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