Billy Bragg has shared a new song inspired the now-iconic photo of Saffiyah Khan.
The young activist stared down an English Defence League thug during a demonstration earlier this year, and the photograph quickly went viral.
Inspired, Billy Bragg has penned new song 'Saffiyah Smiles', part of a flurry of material from the Bard of Barking. He explains:
"Following the shocking scenes of white supremacists marching through the streets of Charlottesville this past summer, my mind went back to an image of a young woman facing down a ranting fascist with nothing but a serene smile."
"Saffiyah Khan had been taking part in a counter demonstration against the neo-fascist English Defence League in Birmingham, England, in April this year when she saw a woman being surrounded by taunting EDL supporters. Saira Zafar had been verbally opposing the racists and a number of them had left the demo to turn on her. When the police struggled to protect her, Saffiyah stepped up and got in the face of the loudest aggressor, holding him at bay with nothing more than a smile until police intervened."
"A press photographer captured the moment and the picture went viral. Local Labour MP Jess Phillips memorably tweeted the image with the caption 'Who looks like they have the power here?' Saffiyah Khan’s selfless act of solidarity is an inspiration to us all and a reminder that sometimes you can confront hatred by calmly making plain how ridiculous its propagators are."
Tune in now.
'Saffiyah Smiles' features on Billy Bragg's new mini-album 'Bridges Not Walls' - due out on November 3rd, you can pre-order it HERE.
For tickets to the latest Billy Bragg shows click HERE.
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