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Recently, a brave Muslim woman, 36 year-old hijab-wearing Asthma Shuweikh, rushed to the defence of a Jewish family who was being harassed by an anti-Semitic man while traveling on the London Underground. Ms. Shuweikh 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.” The footage, posted by British author and filmmaker Chris Atkins, showed a Jewish man wearing a kippah comforting two young kippah-wearing children as another man preached loudly at them about how they were part of the “Synagogue of Satan.” The preacher, using obscenities, also threatened to “smack” another person on the train who got too close to him. Ms. Shuweikhthen told him off about his language, ignoring the preacher’s criticisms of her. The video of the incident has over one million views.
In a statement released by the UK’s Campaign Against Antisemitism, the father of the family 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.
Speaking to London’s Jewish News, Shuweikh described her meeting with the Jewish family’s 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.