Muslim Woman Smiles in the Face of Bigotry

Muslim Woman Smiles in the Face of Bigotry

Muslim Woman Smiles in the Face of Bigotry
Instagram Screenshot
Ismaa’eel wanted the world to know Islam is kind

Shaymaa Ismaa’eel, a Muslim woman hailing from Washington D.C., has been appreciated by many Internet denizens on the way she responded to an anti-Muslim protesting group[/tweetit] who had come to voice their bigotry outside the convention organized by Islamic Circle of North America last weekend. The 24-year-old garnered thousands of "likes" on Twitter and Instagram when she broadcasted pictures of her making the universal peace sign in front of protesters who held placards with hateful phrases like “Islam is a religion of murder.”

Muslim Woman Smiles in the Face of Bigotry[/tweetthis]

According to Ismaa’eel, she made the peace sign when the protesters shouted at her when she passed them. They said that she and all her friends were destined for hell. Her response was to crouch in front of those who shouted at her and flash the universal peace sign. She said she wanted the protestors to see the smile on her face and how happy she is to be a Muslim woman. Ismaa’eel told the media that Muslims will continue to remain unapologetic and kind. They will also continue to disseminate love even in the face of bigotry.

Ismaa’eel was an attendee of the Islamic Circle of North America convention. The annual event is dedicated to promoting the Islamic faith in the United States and attracts thousands of attendees every year. She saw the protesters straight away when she came but walked past their diatribe without stopping. All the time during the conference, however, she thought of them. For Ismaa’eel, being a target of hate is a familiar feeling. Since she and most of her friends wear hijabs, they sometimes get harassed and made to feel unsafe. It was not the first time she made the peace sign in front of the protesters, but her action this time took on a new meaning, due to the recent New Zealand mosque shootings. She said Muslims now are no longer afraid and they are more unapologetic. Muslims, she claimed, now want to stand up for what they believe in without outside help.

According to Ismaa’eel, the constant decibels of hate from the protesters compelled her to walk outside and stand directly in front of those who shouted anti-Muslim and anti-Islam comments. Police officers stopped her from standing in front of the protesters and as an act of rebellion, broadly smiled at the man who shouted the most. He then began to yell at her, saying things like that her face must be covered.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter