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Muslim woman's picture with anti-Islam protesters goes viral

A Muslim woman who posed for a picture with anti-Islam protesters says she wanted to "combat their hatred with love and a smile".

Shaymaa Ismaa'eel told Newsbeat: "The reaction to all this has been crazy, it's overwhelming. I have had a lot of support."

The picture of the 24-year-old, wearing her hijab and flashing the "peace sign" has been liked more than 200,000 times.

It was taken in Washington DC during a three day Islamic convention.

Shaymaa, who lives on the US east coast and works with children with autism, was one of the 24,000 Muslims attending the 44th annual Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America (MAS-ICNA) convention in the US capital.

She explains the three day event is a opportunity for Muslims to "refresh and celebrate our faith" and features guest speakers and group workshops.

"The event was a big turnout, nice environment but when we got their we noticed there were protesters standing on the sidewalk.

"The first day we saw them we just kept our distance, they were shouting and holding signs so we filmed them from afar."

Shaymaa says the handful of protesters outside the venue had signs and were using loudspeakers to deliver anti-Islamic messages.

"They had posters with things like, 'Islam is a hateful religion' and were saying we were inside 'listening to hate'. I'm not affected by things like this. I was laughing at them.

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