Police Arrest Suspect Over Antisemitic London Tube Diatribe Against Jewish Passengers
A man was arrested on Saturday evening after a viral video showed a Jewish family being harassed and “targeted with anti-Semitic abuse” on the London Underground, British Transport Police said.
The man, whose name was not released, was taken into custody in Birmingham on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence.
The incident was recorded by a fellow passenger on a Northern Line train midday Friday and drew public outcry on social media.
In the video, a man is seen loudly reading a passage from the New Testament that addresses “them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not,” while pointing to a kippah-clad Jewish man who was traveling with his wife and three young children.
After threatening another passenger who interceded to “get out of my face or I will smack you right in your nose,” the man began engaging with a nearby Muslim woman who has since been identified as Asma Shuweikh.
As Shuweikh attempted to deescalate the situation by pointing to the children’s presence, the man continued sharing antisemitic invective and falsely suggested that Jews were responsible for funding the slave trade. “These people are impostors, they’re trying to claim our heritage,” he said.
Shuweikh later told the PA news agency that she stood by her decision to intervene, and wished more people had done the same.
“If everyone did, I do not think it would have escalated in the way that it did,” she argued. “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.”
“When he started talking to the child I thought, ‘no, I have to say something,'” Shuweikh added. “To be honest I thought it is my duty as a mother, as a practicing Muslim, as a citizen of this country, to have to say something.”
The Jewish father targeted in the incident, who did not want to share his identity, thanked Shuweikh in a statement released through the Shomrim North West London community patrol group, saying her actions prevented the situation from potentially escalating “to physical violence.”
“The video only shows a short clip of a fifteen- to twenty-minute ordeal,” the man explained. “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.”
“One cannot see on the short video that I politely asked him multiple times to step back and to stop directing abuse to my children,” the man recounted. “Afterwards, the gentleman filming very kindly switched seats with my son, and the lady who sat down next to me also helped distract our children by talking to them.”