Tuesday, November 26, 2019
A Jewish dad whose family was racially abused by a thug on the London Underground has met and thanked the Muslim woman who stepped in to confront him.
The man, who asked not to be named, said he was grateful to Asma Shuweikh, 36, from Birmingham, and yesterday presented her with a bunch of flowers.
A video of the shocking incident went viral online.
A man, whose name and age has not been released by police, has been arrested and was held in Birmingham on Saturday night on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offence.
The dad said he'd been on the Tube into central London with his wife and kids when the man approached them and asked if they were Jews.
He said the thug then shouted at the family that Jews started the slave trade and were from the "synagogue of Satan".
Recalling the ordeal, the dad said: "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."
He said his family had been travelling from Hendon Central in north London to Covent Garden on Friday morning when the verbal abuse took place.
Wearing a cap and hoodie, the man was seen threatening a man off-camera after he tried to intervene before a woman in a hijab - Asma - angrily confronted him.
Mum-of-two Ms Shuweikh, from London, said she "wouldn't hesitate to do it again".
"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."
Yesterday the Jewish dad met Ms Shuweikh and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.
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."
The dad said: "We are extremely grateful to Asma.
"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."
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