This Muslim Woman Took A Photo In Front Of An Anti-Muslim Protest And People Want It In A Museum
"On April 21st I smiled in the face of bigotry and walked away feeling the greatest form of accomplishment."
This is Shaymaa Ismaa’eel, 24, a behavioral therapist for children with autism from the DC area.
Ismaa’eel told BuzzFeed News she went to the Islamic Circle of North America convention on Saturday and said the first thing she saw there was a group of men with signs protesting outside.
She said: "Most people were very upset and didn't know how to embrace their presence. Some teens were getting upset, trying to approach the men."
Ismaa’eel said she wanted to combat their hatred with kindness. So on day three of the convention she asked her friend Jamilah to take a photo of her.
She said: "I wanted them to see my face and walking by wasn’t enough. We were busy Saturday and they had left by the time things at the convention slowed down."
"I kept thinking about them during the workshops," she said. "'What if we had a loud speaker so they can hear the beautiful things we’re learning about our beloved prophet?!' I kept thinking to myself."
She said she did some shopping, left the main building, and then saw them again.
Ismaa'eel said: "My face honestly lit up when I had seen. I yelled to my friend Jamilah, 'There they are! Can you take a picture?'
"I walked up as they continued yelling their hateful speech. I asked the police officer if I could stand at the curb in front of the men. The officer said 'no', and in that moment I felt like the biggest rebel.
"I smiled so hard in the picture and the man [started] directing his speech toward me. Silly things like 'your face should be covered.'"