A picture of a young woman being dubbed the “photo of the week” shows her smiling at an enraged member of the far-right British protest group English Defense League. He was one of the far-right demonstrators who marched through Birmingham protesting “the Islamification of Britain.”
The image, captured during a protest in Birmingham, shows a man wearing an EDL T-shirt glaring at a woman, who responds to his angry gestures with nothing but a smile and a defiant look on her face.
Birmingham MP Jess Phillips also tweeted the picture and wrote: “Who looks like they have power here, the real Brummy on the left or the EDL who migrated for the day to our city and failed to assimilate?” Her tweet was then shared around 9000 times and received 17,000 likes.
Who looks like they have power here, the real Brummy on the left or the EDL who migrated for the day to our city and failed to assimilate pic.twitter.com/bu96ALQsOL— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) April 8, 2017
The woman in the picture, later identified as Saffiyah Khan, claimed the picture was taken she had stepped forward to defend a friend who was surrounded by a bunch of men. It also proved that love always trumps hate.
“I don’t like seeing people getting ganged up on in my town,” said Khan.
"I ended up going to the EDL demo because there is a history of harassment and assault of Muslims, vulnerable members of the public, and people of color at the demos and outside of it,” said the woman, who is Muslim.
"I went with the intent of showing support for anyone who was assaulted or harassed by them,” she added.
People on Twitter are also sharing their views on the incident, and praising Saffiyah for the way she handled the situation.
Made me smile seeing those pics of #saffiyahkhan standing up to those racist thugs. Reacting in the best way possible. No fear & smiling. ??— Alice (@alicesw0ndrlnd) April 10, 2017
Saffiyah Khan is a goddamn hero. Laughing in the face of hate ?— Emily Temple-Wood (@keilanawiki) April 10, 2017
In response to the EDL march, the Birmingham Central Mosque team up with West Midlands and threw a Best of British tea party.
“We would love the focus of Saturday to be our tea party rather than the protests going on elsewhere,” said Muhammed Afzal, chairman of the mosque. He also added that the mosque is open to all and the best response to the hate at EDL would be to “invite our neighbors 'round for a cup of tea.”