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The Specials Ft Saffiyah Khan - 10 Commandments Review

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

@thespecialsofficial have linked up with @saffiyah__khan on the song 10 Commandments, Khan who came to prominence after a photo of her standing up to the EDL went viral. This song makes me think of her message from a Ted Talk she held where she says "Be active, not an activist".

Who Is Saffiyah Khan?

Saffiyah Khan is a British activist and photographer known for her involvement in a notable photograph taken during a demonstration in Birmingham, England, in 2017. The image captured Khan smiling at an English Defence League (EDL) protester, who was seen angrily pointing his finger at her. The photograph went viral and came to symbolize defiance against far-right ideologies.

Born in 1996 in Birmingham, Saffiyah Khan is of Pakistani and Bosnian heritage. She grew up in a politically active family, which influenced her own engagement in activism. Khan is passionate about combating racism, Islamophobia, and gender inequality.

The photograph that brought Khan widespread attention was taken during a demonstration against the EDL, a far-right group known for its anti-Islam sentiments. In the picture, Khan can be seen wearing a hijab and calmly smiling at Ian Crossland, a prominent EDL member. The image became a powerful symbol of resistance, showing a young Muslim woman fearlessly standing up to bigotry.

After the photo

Following the viral photo, Saffiyah Khan received praise and recognition for her peaceful yet assertive response in the face of hostility. She became an icon of anti-fascist activism and received invitations to speak at various events and conferences.

In addition to her activism, Khan is also a skilled photographer. She uses her camera to document social issues and advocate for marginalised communities. Through her photography, she aims to challenge stereotypes and highlight the strength and diversity of her subjects.

Saffiyah Khan's courageous act and the subsequent media attention have made her an inspiration to many, encouraging others to stand up against hate and discrimination. Her story serves as a reminder of the power of unity and peaceful resistance in the face of intolerance.

The Specials 10 Commandments Featuring Saffiyah Khan Review

The Specials and Saffiyah Khan flip Cecil Bustamante Campbell’s (Prince Buster) song 10 Commandments of Man, which talks about women as if they were a man’s property. The song is pretty comical but still has very sexist overtones which can't be ignored. The song utilizes Khan as a strong leader, “Thou shalt not listen to Prince Buster or any other man offering kindly advice in matters of my own conduct" she is already throwing away the traditions of the original song.

The song also talks about how a girl’s skirt is going to be used as exhibit A, in a rape case, because it was too short. This is a very political song, and it’s great to see The Specials still being so politically charged.

The song instrumentally is tight, with those classic two-tone ska rhythms that The Specials are known for. Khans vocals sound like they're coming out of a megaphone, this compliments the feeling of protest in the song, with her voice echoing out phrases like "pseudo-intellectuals" and "I shall be seen and I shall be heard".This is a good song, and it just cements The Specials legacy in punk, in ska and in society.

A good job from everyone involved and their new album Encore released not too long ago and was pretty solid, it even reached number 1 in the UK. 100% recommend checking it out.


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