(Pictures:@shaymaadarling/Instagram)Shaymaa Ismaa’eel didn’t mean to become an icon when she stepped in front of anti-Muslim protestors in Washington, D.C.
The Muslim 24-year-old just happened to go viral after she popped a squat in front of the bigots and posed away.
Shaymaa, a behavioural therapist for children with autism, was attending the Islamic Circle of North America convention when she spotted the protesters.
Instead of engaging with them, she decided to stunt in front of them.
And it worked because her picture has been seen all over the world, achieving Shaymaa’s hope to ‘combat hatred with kindness,’ as she told Metro.co.uk
The powerful images have resonated with so many people that some have even said they belong in a museum.
(Pictures:@shaymaadarling/Instagram)‘I just really wanted them to see my smile and see that we’re going to remain unapologetic,’ she told us.
‘I wanted them to see that we aren’t what they were preaching.
‘It’s very refreshing seeing so many people responding with such positivity. It’s shocking honestly.’
(Pictures:@shaymaadarling/Instagram)Both on Instagram and Twitter, the images of Shaymaa grinning ear to ear has been liked over 200,000 times.
People said the peaceful reaction to hateful bigots should even go into history books.
We asked Shaymaa whether she thought any of the protestors would go away having reconsidered their sentiments. She said she was hopeful.
‘I don’t think they took much away from it cause they already have their preconceived notions.
‘I hope they could see the beauty in my religion and remember that spreading hate isn’t beneficial to anyone.’
People on Twitter also shared other instances of people posing in front of those that hate them.
On Instagram, Shaymaa captioned the strong pictures with a quote from prophet Muhammed: ‘Kindness is a mark of faith. Those who aren’t kind have no faith’.
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