UK woman stands up to far-right supporter with smile

An English Defence League member, right, and a woman identified Saffiyah Khan, are pictured during an EFL rally in Birmingham, England, on Saturday.

Story highlights

  • Social media users praised the woman for standing up to the EDL supporter
  • Protests and counter-protests took place in Birmingham, England

(CNN)A woman is being praised for standing up to a supporter of a British far-right group with a smile. The powerful moment was captured in a photo that has been shared widely on social media.

The image shows the woman, identified by multiple media outlets as Saffiyah Khan, smiling at a man who is wearing a shirt emblazoned with the symbol of the right-wing English Defence League. CNN was unable to contact Khan on Monday.
The encounter took place during the organization's gathering in Birmingham, England, on Saturday.
The rally was met with opposition -- with the Birmingham Central Mosque organizing a tea party "in answer to (the) EDL protest."
The photo quickly spread on social media and users jumped to label Khan the latest face of the resistance against anti-immigrant sentiment.
Politicians also commended Khan, including MP Jess Phillips, who wrote on Twitter: "Who looks like they have power here, the real Brummy on the left or the EDL who migrated for the day to our city and failed to assimilate."
The Birmingham division of the EDL wrote on its Facebook page that Khan "broke through police" and "started shouting during a minute's silence that we were holding for the victims of terror attacks"
Joe Giddens, the Press Association photographer who took the photo, said he took it a couple of minutes after the attempted minute of silence.
Efforts by CNN to contact the West Midlands Police for comment were not immediately successful.