Saffiyah Khan said she intervened after she saw another woman being surrounded by a large group of men.
THIS IMAGE OF a Birmingham woman standing up to a protester from the right-wing English Defence League has been going viral in recent days.
Saffiyah Khan said she intervened after she saw another woman being surrounded by a large group of men at the rally, which took place on Saturday.
The young woman told the BBC that she had not been part of the organised counter-protest and had been “quite surprised” at the response to the photo.
“I don’t like seeing people getting ganged up on in my town,” she told the broadcaster.
Speaking to her local paper the Birmingham Mail, she said:
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.
According to the BBC’s report, the EDL has claimed a minute’s silence they were holding for terror attack victims at their event was interrupted.
“I wasn’t scared in the slightest,” Khan told the Mail.
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.
A photo of the scene between Khan and the EDL member, by Press Association photographer Joe Giddens, has been shared thousands of times since Saturday.