November 24, 2019 10:00 am
LONDON (VINnews) — British Police arrested a man who had harassed and verbally abused a Jewish family on an underground train in the heart of London, but at the same time a Muslim woman intervened to help the family.
A video filmed in London on Friday and released online shows a man reading anti-Jewish passages to two young children and their father who are wearing kippot.
The video shows the woman, who has now been identified as mother-of-two Asma Shuweikh, stepping in and telling the man ‘there are children in here’. Shuweik was widely applauded on Twitter by people who condemned the anti-Semitic abuse. Some people called her ‘a star’ while others said although the clip was heartbreaking to see, Mrs Shuweikh had become a ‘hero’.
Around noon I witnessed appalling anti Semitic abuse towards this Jewish Family on the northern line. Fair play to other passengers who stood up to him. If you recognise the guy please report to ?@metpoliceuk?
Mrs Shuweikh said: ‘I would have loved more people to come up and say something, because if everyone did, I do not think it would have escalated in the way that it did.’
‘Being a mother of two, I know what it’s like to be in that situation and I would want someone to help if I was in that situation.
‘He was quite aggressive and was getting in my face.’
Mrs Shuweikh said she got off the train after two stops and did not realize the video was going viral until a friend texted her to say she had seen her on Twitter. She created a Twitter account so she could see the reaction.
She said: ‘It was so heartwarming to see the responses and see what people were saying. I can’t take all the credit because a lot of other people were involved.
‘I would not hesitate to do it again.’
Shuweik added that ‘As a Muslim woman and mother I know what it’s like to be attacked and dehumanized for my faith and I couldn’t just watch and see this happen to another family with young children.’
Hundreds of people responded to the shocking video which was filmed on the Northern Line and praised Mrs Shuweikh’s actions on Twitter.
One person wrote: ‘Big shout out to the (Muslim?) lady in the head scarf, very courageous of her to intervene. She was very calm and polite and spoke out to defend the Jewish family, what a credit to her religion.’
While another person said: ‘That lady is incredibly brace standing up to him like that. He acted very threatening and she kept her cool brilliantly.’
And someone else added: A Muslim lady going to the defense of a Jewish father and son gives me renewed hope for the future of this wonderful country of ours. Let’s try and find out who she is so we can thank her for her wonderful courage and support.’
Journalist Chris Atkins, 43, who took the video, said: ‘The Muslim woman didn’t take any sh** from him and really, really took him to task, very firmly and persistently.
‘In this day and age we are told how intolerant everyone is and all religions hate each other and there you had a Muslim woman sticking up for some Jewish children.’
He added: ‘I’ve lived in London for 20 years and you’re used to people ranting on the Tube – it was only after a minute I realised, “hang on this is really, really antisemitic”.
‘It was the children that really got me and everyone else, he was just screaming at these children. It was horrific in every sense.
‘He seemed to be a very committed Christian and believed this was the word of God – that it said in the Bible Jews killed Jesus and they are all slave masters.
‘It’s the kind of stuff you see on Twitter a lot, but to hear someone actually say it unashamedly was shocking.’
A British Transport Police spokesman said that: ‘A man has been arrested in connection with an anti-Semitic incident on the London Underground.
‘British Transport Police officers attended an address in Birmingham this evening, Saturday 23 November.
‘The man was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated section 5 public order offence. He remains in custody.
‘The offence itself happened on a Northern Line train at around 12pm on Friday 22 November.
‘A video widely circulated on social media showed passengers being harassed and being targeted with anti-Semitic abuse.’