Muslim woman defends Jewish children from antisemitic abuse

The Canary

A man has been arrested after antisemitic abuse was directed towards Jewish children on the London Underground.

The suspect was held in Birmingham on 23 November on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offence and he remains in custody.

His arrest came after a man was filmed reading anti-Jewish bible passages to two young boys while they were travelling with their family on the Northern Line.

Antisemitism on tube
Asma Shuweikh came to the defence of the family, who were travelling on the Northern Line on Friday (Chris Atkins/PA)

Wearing a cap and hoody, the man is seen in the video threatening a man off-camera after he tries to intervene before a woman in a hijab — Asma Shuweikh — confronts him.

The mother-of-two, from London, told the PA news agency she “wouldn’t hesitate to do it again”.

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.

She said when she saw what was happening she knew she “had to confront him”.

“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,” she said.

Antisemitism on tube
The man began reading antisemitic bible passages to the children (Chris Atkins/PA)

She said the couple was travelling with three children, and she wanted to deflect the man’s attention away from them.

She said: “He was quite aggressive and was getting in my face.”

Fellow commuter Chris Atkins took the video after catching the Tube heading south on the Charing Cross branch of the line at midday on Friday.

“The Muslim woman didn’t take any shit from him and really, really took him to task, very firmly and persistently,” Atkins said.

“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.”

Twitter users hailed Shuweikh a “hero”.

Shuweikh said she got off the Tube after two stops and did not realise the video was going viral until a friend texted her to say she had seen her on Twitter.

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

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