Picture of Sheffield EDL activist being confronted by smiling young woman goes viral

Saffiyah Khan faces down an EDL protester at a demonstration in Birmingham - Photo credit PA/Joe Giddens
Saffiyah Khan faces down an EDL protester at a demonstration in Birmingham - Photo credit PA/Joe Giddens
0
Have your say

A picture of an English Defence League (EDL) activist from Sheffield being confronted by a young woman during a far-right rally has gone viral.

An image of Saffiyah Khan smiling at EDL leader Ian Crossland during the Birmingham demonstration on Saturday has been shared thousands of times on social media.

The image, taken by Press Association photographer Joe Giddens has now come to symbolise resistance to the rally.

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan dubbed the picture as "photo of the week" while it has also attracted comments from Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips.

But despite the obvious tension between the two people in the picture, Ms Khan told the Mirror she kept calm throughout.

She said: "(The EDL supporter) 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.

"I couldn't understand what was being said though to be honest, it was all very mumbled.

"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 didn't realise how many people would be so supportive, so it was worth it."

The EDL rally in Centenary Square attracted about 100 supporters and passed without any major disorder, police said.

West Midlands Police said two people, thought to be counter-protesters, had been arrested for alleged breaches of the peace.

Mr Crossland, Yorkshire regional organiser of the far-right group, has previously coordinated marches through Sheffield's streets in the wake of the child sexual exploitation scandal in South Yorkshire.