This weekend’s protest proves why Birmingham is the defiant underdog of the UK

We’re about unity, not hate

When the EDL decided to stir Islamophobic hatred in Birmingham this weekend, you’d think it would have caused exactly what they wanted – fear, anger and conflict. But instead, we proved our cities race relations are stronger than ever by greeting them with happiness, unity and fearlessness.

When the EDL attempted a rally against the “continued increase in Islamic terrorism”, the brummies of the Birmingham Central Mosque decided to let them eat cake and held a tea party instead. The Best of British tea party gives food for thought – excuse the pun – of a wonderful way to counteract hatred. These thoughtful brummies decided that instead of engaging with hatred, they would celebrate with their local community and demonstrate their unity and inclusion. The powerful messages of the tea party, of inclusivity and community, are ones everyone should follow.

And it wasn’t just the tea party that summed up Birmingham’s perfect attitude. If one picture could sum up the sentiment, it would be Saffiyah Khan confronting the far-right group’s leader, Ian Crossland.  She’d stepped in to help a woman in a hijab who was being verbally abused, and is pictured smiling and unafraid while in a stand-off with Ian Crossland. She told the Birmingham Mail “I knew they were trying to provoke me, but I wouldn’t be provoked.”

Birmingham Food Drive also held its own response to the march with volunteers offering free food, clothes, live music and haircuts for the homeless in the city. In all, it’s clear that the people of Birmingham know what to do in the face of adversity: keep calm and carry on.]

People, usually who aren’t from here, have strong views about Birmingham and the “conflict” caused from its huge asian population. But this weekend has proved our race relations are better than any other city in the country. Something brummies knew all along.