A Muslim woman, in reaction to a mob of angry Christian protesters, shifted the attention to something positive, and this has won her thousands of fans across the planet, BuzzFeed reported.
Shaymaa Ismaa’eel is a devout Muslim who lives in Washington DC and works with autistic children as a behavioral therapist.
She went to the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) convention on Saturday. Accosted by a group of anti-Muslim male protesters, the young Muslim decided to respond in kindness rather than anger.
“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.
“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 loudspeaker so they can hear the beautiful things we’re learning about our beloved prophet?!’ I kept thinking to myself.”
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.'”
Her photo got over 168,000 likes on Instagram and has since been reshared to Twitter for 57,000 times and liked for more than 198,000 times.
On April 21st I smiled in the face of bigotry and walked away feeling the greatest form of accomplishment. pic.twitter.com/Dbrtk7MDAw
— شيماء (@ShaymaaDarling) April 23, 2019
Ismaa’eel said: “The positivity from this is very uplifting and it’s making me happy to know that the youth can see someone being unapologetic in the face of people who hate their religion.”
Future history books gone saucy ??? Look. At. This. Photo. pic.twitter.com/v5HrOfL6oS
— Bernie BEEN Mac (@afroSHIRL) April 22, 2019
Put this in somebody museum. https://t.co/yuaIzD6OyO
— 地狱男爵 (@ayeBLOKE) April 23, 2019
This is hands down the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in the history of the internet. https://t.co/5UwNSNQDkr
— Sarki. (@Waspapping_) April 23, 2019
some real boss moves
— habib ? (@bibdono) April 23, 2019
Muslims make up 1% of America’s 322 million population, according to the Pew Research center.
A recent Pew research found that American Muslims are the most moderate around the world.
It showed that US Muslims generally express a strong commitment to their faith and tend not to see an inherent conflict between being devout and living in modern society.