The best way to drive out hate is with love and a cheeky smile and Shaymaa Ismaa’eel is a testament to that.
The 24-year-old Muslim woman, who is a behavioral therapist for children with autism was attending a conference of the Islamic Circle of North America in Washington DC when she saw a group of white men protesting against her religion and with tempers flaring, she decided to get back at them in the best way ever.
“Most people were very upset and didn’t know how to embrace their presence. Some teens were getting upset, trying to approach the men,” she told BuzzFeed News.
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To get back at the protestors and haters, Shaymaa had her friend take a photo of her in front them in a very cheeky pose while beaming smiles much to their dissatisfaction.
She then shared the photos on her Instagram and Twitter page with the latter captioned: “On April 21st I smiled in the face of bigotry and walked away feeling the greatest form of accomplishment.”
The photos have since gone viral with so many positive responses.
Describing the incident to BuzzFeed, 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 added that after chancing upon them again after going shopping on Sunday, she decided to go into action for the photo-op.
“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,'” she said.
Take a look at the photos below: