Muslim Woman Who Defended Jewish Boys From Racial Abuse Meets Their Father

Asma Shuweikh (far right) is seen defending the Jewish father and son (sitting) from the harasser

LONDON(VINnews) — A brave Muslim woman who stood up for a Jewish family subjected to racial abuse on the London underground has met the dad whose family she stood up for.

Asma Shuweikh, 36, a mother of two from Birmingham was hailed as a hero by online users after footage taken by a London journalist and widely shared on social media showed her confronting a man who read anti-Jewish bible passages at two young boys wearing kippot during a journey on the Northern Line.

The video shows the man threatening another commuter off-camera who intervened, before Shuweikh stepped in to confront the abuser,  telling him that ‘there are children in here’ and pleading with him to show restraint. 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’.

“I tried to bring him down to a level where you can have a conversation so he doesn’t go back to the Jewish family that were on the train,” said Shuweikh.

“I’m a mother and I thought if I were with my children, I would want someone to intervene, and the poor man was trying to keep calm for his children,” she added.

In a statement released by the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the father, who did not wish to be named, said he was “extremely grateful” to Shuweikh for stepping in.

“We are certain that without her intervention and distraction, he would have continued his abuse which could have escalated to physical violence,” he said.

“This Tube journey has left me with mixed feelings about society,” he added. “On the one hand my wife, my children and I were subject to vile abuse in a full Tube carriage, however I am grateful for those who stood up for me.”

The dad met Shuweikh for coffee on Monday in Manchester bearing flowers and thanking her in person for her intervention.

Speaking to Jewish News on Monday, she said: “He came and gave me beautiful flowers and we sat down and had a coffee and we were talking about our experiences and our backgrounds.

“It was very nice. It was lovely. We’re going to keep in touch,” she added.

Shuweikh, who created a Twitter account to read messages of support, added that the response from friends and strangers across both Jewish and Muslim communities had been “very overwhelming.”

“It’s a breath of fresh air. It’s lovely to see communities can come together and put aside our differences,” she said.

A man, who has not been named by police, was arrested in Birmingham on Saturday night on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offence.

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