A man has been arrested after a video capturing anti-Semitic abuse targeting Jewish children on the London Underground went viral.
British Transport Police said the man, whose name was not released, was arrested in Birmingham on Saturday evening on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offense.
The police said the incident happened on a London underground train around midday on Friday and was captured in a video that was widely circulated on social media.
The footage, originally shared by one of the passengers, shows a man reading anti-Jewish Bible passages to a young boy wearing the kippah.
The video then shows the man threatening fellow passengers who tried to intervene in the situation.
Asma Shuweikh speaks out…
Later, a woman wearing a hijab — named by the PA news agency as Asma Shuweikh — confronts him. CNN was unable to reach Shuweikh.
The mother-of-two, from London, told PA she knew she “had to confront him” when she saw what was happening.
“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 told the agency.
“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.
The video shows the targeted family keeping their composure as the incident unfolds. The adult man is seen wrapping an arm around the boy seated next to the abusive man, at one point whispering in his ear “just ignore it.”
Chris Atkins, the passenger who shared the video on Twitter, told PA Shuweikh was “firm and persistent.”
Atkins confirmed to CNN that he had filmed the video.
“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,” he told the news agency.
The police said it received and acted on information from members of public after the video went viral.
Social media influencers praised her
A Muslim Woman came to the defense of a Jewish Man and his son against antisemitism. She says as a Muslim woman & mother she knows what it feels like to be attacked and dehumanized for her faith. THIS IS WHAT SOLIDARITY LOOKS LIKE. Her name is Asma – StanceGrounded
We are stronger when we fight racism together. Antisemitism & Islamophobia are both evils and must be fought with a united front. So proud of this brave Muslim woman who confronts man over antisemitic rant at Jewish family on Tube. – Sayeeda Warsi
You see the ugliness and anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate. But you also have the beauty of a Muslim woman seeing a Jewish family being attacked and putting herself in harm’s way to protect them. This woman is a shero – Simran Jeet Singh
A Muslim lady going to the defence of a Jewish father and son gives me renewed hope for the future of this wonderful country of ours. Let’s try and find out who she is so we can thank her for her wonderful courage and support. – MartinHBWarner
Vicious anti-Semitism towards a Jewish father and son on the tube. Heroic Muslim woman steps in to try and shut up the bigot. – Medhi Hassan
Reports of anti-Semitic incidents have spiked in the UK this year, according to a report published in August.
The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that monitors anti-Semitism in Britain, said there were 892 recorded incidents in the first six months of 2019 — a 10% increase compared to the same period last year. It is the highest number in this period since records began in 1984.
CST said reports of incidents have risen for a third year in a row, in a sign of Britain’s growing struggle with anti-Semitism.
Sources: CNN, The Independent and Birminghammail
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