Shaymaa Ismaa’eel was on her way to attend the D.C. area Islamic Circle of North America convention one recent weekend when she noticed a crowd of unhappy-looking people who were protesting the convention. Or the entire religion. Either way, they were telling everyone who looked Muslim in the area that they were going to hell, which is never a nice thing to hear.
This is what the bigot’s America has produced at the Icna Convention in DC. Bigots with loudspeakers harassing Muslims verbally without stop since yesterday. Shame on them and the politicians and Islamaphobes who sow discord. Cc @Stonekettle @MalcolmNance @mehdirhasan pic.twitter.com/kDk2IqusAg— Owaiz Dadabhoy (@owaizdadabhoy) April 20, 2019
Ismaa’eel was disheartened at first to see this kind of bigotry in front of a peaceful gathering of people who enjoy the same religion and want to talk about issues facing their communities. According to the young behavioral therapist, people were getting upset and teenage Muslims were trying to engage the protesters, which probably would not have ended well for the teens.
“Most people were very upset and didn’t know how to embrace their presence,” she told BuzzFeed. “Some teens were getting upset, trying to approach the men.”
Instead of getting upset herself, Ismaa’eel decided to have some fun and counter the ugly scene with some positivity. The end result was a brief photoshoot that can’t not make you smile.
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
Beautiful, hilarious, perfect.
“I smiled so hard in the picture and the man [started] directing his speech toward me,” she said of the photoshoot. “Silly things like ‘your face should be covered.'”
Fact check: Depending on how liberal or conservative one is in their faith, Muslim women might wear head coverings that show their whole face, only their eyes, or not wear a head covering at all. It’s her choice, baby.
Ismaa’eel said that the protesters “didn’t ruin the experience for me in the slightest” and she had a good convention. Now, she’s having a great time as her photos get tens of thousands of likes on Instagram, and have spread to Twitter where people are calling the photoshoot “iconic” and are praying that they end up in the history books.
THESE PICTURES BELONG IN A MUSEUM!— 𝔑𝔬𝔯𝔞𝔥 (@Norahabdela) April 23, 2019
Protect this woman at all cost— Mon_cheri (@kiel_orji) April 23, 2019
I have to follow you. Just for this tweet. You are a legend.— OUR LAND & JOBS NOW (@MorwaMobu) April 23, 2019
woMEN ARE SO POWERFUL ILY— auber (@bangbitchxx) April 23, 2019
My hero pic.twitter.com/aSnonw3VS3— maryam (@marwaffles) April 23, 2019
The last pic screams “and whatcha gonna do about it?” Iconic amazing wow pic.twitter.com/AsIgjcIVys— Tyler (@TylerHaysBrown) April 23, 2019
If these pictures don’t end up in a museum or in Time Magazine’s list of the most iconic moment of 2019 I will be contacting EVERYONE’S manager pic.twitter.com/l9oxJPXWAo— Zainab (@znbkhn) April 23, 2019
Others could not resist making fun of the ridiculous-looking anti-Muslim protesters, because just look at them.
What I see in the corner of my room after watching a scary movie pic.twitter.com/YYFOwYcSQF— mrs. nature (@freeMedusa) April 23, 2019
“Why I autta “ pic.twitter.com/x4vg8Db5eS— M A R G O 🍯🌻✨ (@Mo_sweno) April 23, 2019
I have found myself a new meme pic.twitter.com/MfuAWFrfNG— jord ◟̽◞̽ (@mixerkweens) April 23, 2019
What does this sign even mean?!? pic.twitter.com/mPz5LtwXaP— Jason Layton (@mrjld20) April 23, 2019
They always have that Mondoshawan posture. pic.twitter.com/9KPIDlTUG8— Adam Casto (@adam_casto) April 23, 2019
The few, the proud, the....... marines???? 🎣🖍 pic.twitter.com/YKd8sFZvKl— Miya DeVoogd (@miyamoosh) April 23, 2019
Oh my god I can hear that guys lazyboy screaming from here. Congrats! The only strength to hate comes from smiling it down.— Professionally Bricked in the Head. (@AverageSociopat) April 23, 2019
My man was fuming 😭😭👌🏻 pic.twitter.com/MRLskGv9w7— ميمز حلوة (@memes_7elwa) April 23, 2019
Dude is dedicated lol pic.twitter.com/IrIVFsO4xr— Primo! (@PrimoPatricio) April 23, 2019
It takes a lot of dedication to waste your Easter weekend hating instead of loving people like Jesus told you to.