A Muslim woman has become a viral sensation after she shared photos of herself posing in front of anti-Muslim protesters.
The Christian protesters held up signs reading "Jesus is the way" and "Islam is a religion of blood and murder", according to images on social media.
Shaymaa, who works as a behavioral therapist for children with autism, told BuzzFeed that most other people at the convention were getting upset about the protesters standing directly outside the building.
She said that some teens tried to approach the men, but most people just walked by without giving them attention.
"This is hands down the greatest thing I've ever seen in the history of the internet", Twitter user, Sarki, said about Ismaa'eel's post. She made a decision to "smile in the face of bigotry", posing for photos while smiling and flashing a peace sign, with the protesters raging in the background.
"I wanted them to see the smile on my face, and see how happy I was to be me and walk around being a Muslim woman", she was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
She explains that, when she saw them again, she "yelled to my friend Jamilah, 'There they are!" "I just wish they could hear all the love being spread inside the conference instead of protesting outside".
The photo now has more than 200,000 likes on Twitter, and has inspired dozens of messages of support. She has seen similar protesters in the past and taken photos in front of them as well, but in the environment following the mosque shootings in New Zealand this year, the image took on a new meaning.
"I yelled to my friend Jamilah, 'There they are!" So, Shaymaa said she chose to combat their hatred with kindness.
She also said that she and her friends often get harassed as they walk around in their hijabs and that they occasionally feel unsafe, and that she has taken photographs in-front of Islamophobic protestors before.
'I smiled so hard in the picture and the man starting directing his speech toward me. "Silly things like 'Your face should be covered, ' and 'You know it's a cult when you're walking outside wearing pajamas'". Shaymaa says her mom messaged her to tell her to be "aware of her surroundings" because 'it's clear people like that typically aren't the kindest'.