‘My Faith Is What Drives Me To Do This,’ Says UK Muslim Woman Who Defended Jewish Family From Antisemite on London Underground
The brave Muslim woman who rushed to the defense of a Jewish family who was being harassed by an antisemite while traveling on the London Underground has been reunited with the family’s father, who gave her a bouquet of flowers in appreciation of her actions.
A man was arrested on Saturday evening after a viral video of the incident showed a Jewish family being harassed and “targeted with antisemitic abuse” on the London Underground, British Transport Police said.
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.
The man was then confronted by Asma Shuweikh — a 36-year-old Muslim woman who was on the same train — who acted, she later explained, because “I thought it is my duty as a mother, as a practicing Muslim, as a citizen of this country, to have to say something.”
In a statement released by the UK’s Campaign Against Antisemitism, the father of the family — who did not wish to be named — said he was “extremely grateful” to Shuweikh for stepping in.
“We are certain that without her intervention and distraction, he would have continued his abuse which could have escalated to physical violence,” he said.
“This Tube journey has left me with mixed feelings about society,” he added. “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.”
Speaking to London’s Jewish News, Shuweikh described her meeting with the father as “lovely.”
“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,” she said.
Shukweikh added that she had previously faced Islamophobic abuse, describing an incident in which a motorist threw jelly beans at her face while she was driving.
“It hit me in the eye, and he swore at me,” Shuweikh said. “We get these things. It’s unacceptable, and I’m the kind of person that if I see that, I can’t be quiet. My faith is what drives me to do this.”