A young Muslim woman decided to spread love in the midst of hate.Shaymaa Ismaa’eel was attending an Islamic conference in Washington, DC when she saw a group of Islamaphobic protesters.
They were angrily holding anti Muslim signs and shouting that she and her friends were going to hell.
Shaymaa also admitted she wasn’t going to do anything initially when she saw the protesters. But after going to several workshops learning about the Quran and remembering the mosque shootings in New Zealand, she wanted find her own way send a positive message – “Walking by just wasn’t enough,” she said. That’s why Shaymaa posed proudly for a photo in front the protesters.
Even though she was harassed with hate speech like, “Your face should be covered!” and “You know it’s a cult when you’re walking around wearing pajamas,” she gave a peace sign and a smile. She uploaded it to Twitter with the caption, “I smiled in the face of bigotry and walked away feeling the greatest form of accomplishment.” It went viral.
When Shaymaa left the conference and noticed the protesters were still outside, Shaymaa said, “My face lit up when I saw them again because I wanted them to see my joy – I just wish they could hear all the love being spread inside the conference instead of protesting outside.”