So she asked her friend to take a picture of her while smiling a smile that was crouching in front of them.
"I really wanted to fight their hatred," said Ismaa & eel, 24, via Instagram with CNN. "I wanted them to see my face, and just walking by was not enough."
Ismaa & eel, who works as a therapist with children in the autism spectrum in DC, posted the photo along with a quote on Instagram From the Prophet Muhammad, he reads: "Kindness is a sign of faith kind, have no faith. "
The image was viral on the platform for sharing images, with more than 100,000 likes and on Twitter, where it was was liked more than 150,000 times.
"On April 21
Ismaa & eel told CNN that she had first noticed the demonstrators on Saturday, the second day of the congress, adding that most people were very excited by their presence and did not know how to react should. She said some teenagers had tried to approach the men, but most people just walked by without paying attention to them.
For her part, Ismaa & eel said she was constantly thinking of the demonstrators during the conference, which included sessions on various topics, including the Koran, the life of Muhammad, lessons from the Christchurch shootings, and so on.
The next day, when she spotted her leaving the main building, she asked her friend Jamilah to take a picture.
"My face lit up honestly when I saw it," she said. "I went as they continued to yell their hateful speech, and I asked the police officer if I could stand in front of the men at the curb, the officer said" No, "and at that moment I felt like the biggest rebel."
"I smiled so heavily in the picture and the man began to address his speech on me Stupid things like" Your face should be covered "," And you know it's a cult if you're pajamas after go outside. "
Ismaa & eel said it was not the first time she took a picture like this." I posted a photo in 2017 when I was in college. It was basically the same message. Smile in the face of bigotry, "she added.
But she's still surprised how much attention this picture has received." I'm still undecided. I'm still shaken that it has reached more than 200. It is refreshing to see that so many people are supported. "
Her mother reported her when the post was with 3,000 members, saying," Please pay attention to your surroundings. "" She's definitely nervous because of it Obviously, such people are usually not the nicest ones. She keeps reminding me to pray about me, "Ismaa & eel said.
Her friends and family have experienced many cases of harassment or discrimination, she added." Just this summer, my mother and her camp students became discriminated in a public pool. So it definitely happens. "[Luckilythetherapistsaidshehadnotreceivedanythreatsafterposting"Mysister-in-lawandmybrotheraremostlypatrollingmyaccountIhadtostepbackbecausesomecommentsareinterestingandIkeeptellingmyselfnottoentertainanyone"