A woman pictured apparently staring down an EDL protester has said she was “not scared in the slightest” during the confrontation. A striking photo of Saffiyah Khan smiling at the Birmingham demonstration was shared thousands of times on social media and held up as an example of resistance by those who oppose the far-right group. Ms Khan said she had been trying to help another woman who was surrounded by a large group of men. But the EDL claimed she had interrupted a minute’s silence for terror attack victims. Ms Khan told the Mirror she had remained calm during the tense encounter with an EDL leader identified as Ian Crossland.
I stay pretty calm in these situations.
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. 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.” Ms Khan’s actions won praise from Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips, whose tweet of the photo was shared more than 9,000 times. The EDL rally in Centenary Square attracted about 100 supporters and passed without any major disorder, police said.