On May 14, 2016 Antwerp, Belgium, hosted the third annual Muslim Expo, which is a festival that celebrates Muslim lifestyle and culture. Unfortunately, members of Vlaams Belang (a Belgian political party), showed up to protest at the event. They showed up in a group of around 40 protesters, some handing out pork sausages. The group held signs that said things like, “No headscarves,” “No mosques,” and “Stop Islam.”
Zakia Belkhiri, a 22-year-old Muslim woman, did something clever. Instead of getting angry and responding to the protesters with hate, she decided to take some cute, cheerful selfies in front of them and was captured doing so by photographer Jurgen Augusteyns.
After Vice published Jurgen Augusteyns’s photos of Zakia’s selfies, the pictures went viral and have been shared by thousands of people around the world.
In response to her social media fame, Zakia wrote : “I just made a selfie and it went viral so never give up, keep your hopes up!” She was very thankful for all of the support and explains why in her twitter posts.