When Saffiyah Khan defended a Muslim woman and calmly faced down an enraged far-right protester in Birmingham, England, she didn't know the moment would go viral - she was just trying to give support. A photo of the moment, taken by Joe Giddens of the Press Association, did go viral, and Khan received international acclaim for such bravery. After the moment passed, Khan finally met the Muslim woman she defended and they both spoke to The Guardian about the protest and solidarity.
In the interview, Khan meets Saira Zafar, the woman who was surrounded by members from the anti-Muslim English Defence League (EDL). Zafar explains that she originally was going to stand at the back of the protests with a sign but that the protesters quickly got out of hand. They placed a banner on top of her head that read "Muslim communities need to be investigated" and then over her face as she called them racist. That's when Khan stepped in and confronted the protesters.
Muslim-Americans React to Feeling Supported By Protesters: "I'm So Happy"
"I went there predicting that something like this would happen, sadly, and when it did happen, all I did was provide support," said Khan. "But there's no excuse for doing nothing really." Watch their interview and meeting ahead.
Zafar is grateful to Khan and the message she sent. "I do really appreciate the fact that you did step in," said Zafar. "It is very important to have solidarity and to show that, OK, well if something happens to this person, they are not on their own."
It's not the only message Zafar thinks they both sent to the world that night. "The stance that we both took in that rally, it shows that Muslim women are not how, unfortunately, the narrative is nowadays. We are not oppressed - do you know what I mean? We are not easily intimidated; we are quite strong in who we are."