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December 30, 2016 5:29 pm

Muslim Teen Brushes Off Claims He’s a Hero for Helping Arrest Attacker Who Hit Jewish Woman

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A Muslim teen who has drawn praise for helping police arrest a Brooklyn man who attacked a Jewish woman on Tuesday night was quick to announce that he does not consider himself a hero.

Ahmed Khalifa, 17, wrote in a Facebook post that his actions were “not that big of a deal,” after he chased 31-year-old Rayvon Jones, who had punched a woman reading a Jewish prayer book on a subway before fleeing the train. Khalifa told the Orthodox Jewish blog Vois Iz Neias, “When I saw [the woman] bleeding, I just ran after the guy because it was my first instinct. I felt bad for her because she was innocent, she did nothing wrong.”

Khalifa said a member of the Jewish neighborhood patrol group Shomrim was driving by and joined him in the effort to track down Jones, who they found waiting for a bus a few blocks from the train station. The high school student and Shomrim volunteers then followed the bus, tracking its location until police arrived and apprehended the assailant. Jones was charged with assault and was awaiting arraignment on Wednesday at Brooklyn Criminal Court, according to the New York Daily News. The woman was taken to Methodist Hospital in stable condition after suffering a laceration to her lip along with swelling and bruising.

Khalifa’s role in the arrest garnered the attention of social media users, some of which praised him as “a total mensch.” One wrote on Khalifa’s Facebook page, “we need more people like you in our world” while another thanked him for “doing the right thing and helping a total stranger!” Khalifa was also told, “In a world filled with chaos it’s nice to see there are people who are willing to stand up for a stranger.”

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The Brooklyn teen humbly brushed off the praise, writing on Facebook, “It’s something everyone should do. I just want people to know that no matter what race, religion, belief, etc. you are, I think of everyone as equal and I’ll do anything to make sure people know that.” He also shared with Vois Iz Neias some insights about how he sees relations between Muslims and Jews.

“I think [they] should just get along,” he said. “Everything you hear on social media is not real. I just believe we’re all like distant cousins and we should just love each other.”

This is not the first time Khalifa has stepped in to help a stranger. He reportedly once rescued a Jewish boy who was targeted by a group of men trying to rob his bike. He also claimed on Facebook that he helped save a suicidal homeless man who wanted to jump off a moving train.

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