A Jewish man whose family was subjected to vile anti-Semitic abuse on the London Underground has met the Muslim woman who stood up for them.
The father said that he had been on the Northern Line from Hendon Central in north London to Covent Garden with his wife and children when a man approached them and ‘asked if they were Jews.’
The man, 35 and from Hillingdon, London then launched a torrent of abuse at the family, shouting that ‘Jews started the slave trade’ and were from the ‘synagogue of Satan’.
The victim has now met Asma Shuweikh, who bravely leapt to their defence and confronted their abuser.
The Jewish father said they were ‘extremely grateful’ to Ms Shuweikh for intervening and wanted to thank her in person.
Asma Shuweikh, with the Jewish father, whose family she defended in an incident last week
The man read anti-Semitic passages out to the family and targeted the young boys directly with his words
A woman in a hijab – Asma Shuweikh – confronted the man and defended the family against his abuse
The woman said that as ‘a Muslim woman and mother I know what it’s like to be attacked and dehumanised for my faith’
Ms Shuweikh told the Jewish News: ‘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.’
The father, who does not wish to be named, added in a statement, released by the Campaign Against Antisemitism on Monday: ‘I was confused. I was ready for the anti-Semitic comments after the Jewish question, but I was not prepared for the hail of anti-Semitic abuse which followed.
‘The only thing I could think about was the safety of my children and the best thing to do at that time was to restrain myself and try to get my children to ignore the situation.’
In shocking footage viewed millions of times online, the man read anti-Jewish passages to the family, directing his words at the two young boys in skullcaps.
He added: ‘We are extremely grateful for the Muslim lady wearing the headscarf, who we now know as Asma, who stepped in.
‘We are certain that without her intervention and distraction, he would have continued his abuse which could have escalated to physical violence.
The man is seen in the video threatening another man off-camera after he tries to intervene
‘This Tube journey has left me with mixed feelings about society.
‘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.’
A man has been arrested and was held in Birmingham on Saturday night on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offence.
He was later released on bail.
Mother-of-two Ms Shuweikh, from London says she ‘wouldn’t hesitate to do it again’.
Mother-of-two Asma 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
‘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.
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.
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 s*** from him and really, really took him to task, very firmly and persistently,’ Mr 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.’
Ms Shuweikh was hailed on social media for her bravery.
Some people called her ‘a star’ while others said although the clip was heartbreaking to see, Mrs Shuweikh had become a ‘hero’.
One person said: ‘Big shout out to the (Muslim?) lady in the head scarf, very courageous of her to intervene. She was very calm and police 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 defence 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.’