Man arrested after hurling antisemitic abuse at Jewish children on tube
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Man arrested after hurling antisemitic abuse at Jewish children on tube

Muslim lady in a hijab - Asma Shuweikh - hailed as a 'hero' for confronting perpetrator and says 'I would not hesitate to do it again'

Screengrab taken with permission from the Twitter feed of Chris Atkins of a woman defending a family being harassed and targeted with antisemitic abuse by a man on a Northern Line train on Friday afternoon. (Photo credit: Chris Atkins/PA Wire)
Screengrab taken with permission from the Twitter feed of Chris Atkins of a woman defending a family being harassed and targeted with antisemitic abuse by a man on a Northern Line train on Friday afternoon. (Photo credit: Chris Atkins/PA Wire)

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

The suspect, whose name and age has not been released by police, was held in Birmingham on Saturday night 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 in skullcaps while they were travelling with their family on the Northern Line.

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”.

“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 shit 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.”

Twitter users hailed Mrs Shuweikh a “hero”.

Mrs 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 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.”

A Spokesperson for Shomrim North West London said: “It is incidents like these which bring the issue of antisemitism into sharp focus. Shomrim are committed to supporting victims of racial hate crimes and antisemitic abuse. We urge any victims to come forward and we will support you in reporting these incidents to police, and providing you with the necessary support. We are very thankful to British Transport Police for taking swift action and a strong stance on investigating all forms of hate crime. Shomrim NW London applauds Asma and the gentleman who courageously confronted the abusive man and defended the Jewish family

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