Bravery in the Face of Safety

From the BBC:

A viral photo of a woman smiling at an English Defence League (EDL) protester in Birmingham was snapped after she stepped in to defend a “fellow Brummie”, she has told the BBC.

The image of Saffiyah Khan has been shared thousands of times since it was taken at Saturday’s demonstration.

Ms Khan, from Birmingham, said she had intervened when she saw another woman surrounded by about 25 men.

Ms Khan, who was born in the UK and is half-Pakistani, half-Bosnian, said she “wasn’t intimidated in the slightest”.

I’m not surprised she wasn’t intimidated. Why would she be? The EDL might occupy the knuckle-dragging end of the political right but they don’t go in for beating people up at protests, let alone young women. One might be able to imagine circumstances where confronting a bunch of protesters would be intimidating, but going up against of middle-aged white men in Britain? Nah. Never in a million years was she going to come to harm, and she knew it.

She added: “He put his finger in my face. It was very aggressive. A police officer was there and the man took his finger out of my face. I wouldn’t have responded violently.”

Had the circumstances been slightly different she’d have found herself arrested for breaching the peace.

The picture was shared by, among others, Piers Morgan, who called it “photo of the week”, and Birmingham Labour MP Jess Phillips.

People need their heroines, I suppose.

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13 thoughts on “Bravery in the Face of Safety

  1. She probably wasn’t in danger but it still takes a bit of guts to put yourself in front of a baying mob.

    All that aside, its a very good photograph.

  2. “All that aside, its a very good photograph.”

    Yes it is, I thought Tim was right about chivalry not being dead in England up until I seen it was in Birmingham, I don’t think civilisation ever reached there.

    Plus what the fuck is that girly boy blue bib that the copper has on saying that he is? Seriously.

  3. She probably wasn’t in danger but it still takes a bit of guts to put yourself in front of a baying mob.

    I don’t think so: I think she knew nobody would dare touch her, let alone with a policeman there.

    All that aside, its a very good photograph.

    It is.

  4. I’ll allow my cynicism some free rein and point out that it is probably her looks that have allowed the photo to go viral: if she was a diesel dyke, a tubby and mustachioed Muslim woman or a standard issue pikey scrubber I don’t think the response would be the same.

  5. #FakeNews actually. The women in question was dragged away after screeching during a minutes silence for terrorist victims.

  6. I’ll allow my cynicism some free rein and point out that it is probably her looks that have allowed the photo to go viral:

    Of course: her being rather photogenic is what makes the story.

  7. The women in question was dragged away after screeching during a minutes silence for terrorist victims.

    I’m sure the BBC would have told us were that the case. /sarcasm

  8. @Tim N

    Had the circumstances been slightly different she’d have found herself arrested for breaching the peace.

    As in a white Christian female confronting a group of muslim men celebrating death of infidels and denouncing their support of that & rape, sharia law etc?

  9. She had the look of someone who had the upper hand, not someone standing in the face of a real threat. I don’t see defiance, I see smug.

  10. @David Moore: She probably knew she’d have a lot to be smug about, once the press had elevated her to sainthood and given her a platform to get her photograph in all the papers, with her ‘Free Gaza, Free Palestine’ t-shirt…

  11. She had the look of someone who had the upper hand, not someone standing in the face of a real threat. I don’t see defiance, I see smug.

    That’s an excellent point, right on the money. Were I a better blogger I’d have made it myself.

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