Last Saturday (April 8) saw the far-right protest movement, the English Defence League hold a protest in Birmingham, England. The group were keen to take a stand against Islamism in the UK and spread their divisive message in the wake of the Westminster attack in London. However, there were plenty of people willing to show a unified front against the EDL, including Saffiyah Khan who smiled down EDL leader Ian Crossland in a moment that has gone viral.
As for the moment that led to the iconic picture, Khan revealed:
“Nothing was really happening until a woman in a headscarf started shouting ‘racist.’ About 20 to 25 EDL people ran over and surrounded her. She looked absolutely terrified. I still hung back and waited for the police to sort it out. I waited two or three minutes and but the police did nothing, so I decided to go and try and get her out of there. It all happened very quickly. She left, but then I was identified as anti-fascist. The group turned on me. Ian Crossland was poking his finger in my face, but I just stood there. I didn’t do anything, I wasn’t interested, that wasn’t my intention. But I wasn’t scared in the slightest. I stay pretty calm in these situations. I knew they were trying to provoke me, but I wasn’t going to be provoked. I have lost my anonymity because of the picture, but on balance it was worth it. I have probably been profiled by them now and I have to take one for the team.”