A Muslim woman was dubbed a "hero" for defending a Jewish family that was under verbal attack by a man on a London train last week. It isn't only Islamophobia that's rampant in the West; anti-Semitism makes appearances from time to time as well.
A passenger on the Northern Line of the London Underground pulled out a copy of the Old Testament and took it upon himself to educate a young Jewish boy using "God's words." The boy, who was wearing a kippah - a skullcap traditionally worn by Jewish men - was accompanied by his father and what seems like his brother, as foreign media reported.
Chris Atkins, a passenger on the tube, realized the words being said were "really, really anti-Semitic" and so her shared a video of the incident with his Twitter followers. As one commuter attempted to intervene in a bid to put an end to the man's ranting, the abuser began yelling at him and threatening him with physical abuse.
"Get out of my face or I will smack you right in your nose, man. Back up from me. I'm not no Christian pastor. Back the f**** up from me," the abuser can be heard saying to the commuter in the video.
This is when the Muslim woman, Asma Shuweikh, took it upon herself to step in. "Come on man, there are children," she said in an attempt to calm the man down. As Shuweikh successfully turned his attention away from the Jewish family, he blamed the Jews for "taking my [Christian] heritage" and then attempted to turn things on her by asking, "Do you care about your people?"
Shuweikh, a 36-year-old mother-of-two from Birmingham, explained to press how she sympathized with the parents who were attacked and dehumanized because of their faith. She hopes people will become vocal against such discrimination and that she's lent a helping hand if she's ever in such a situation.
"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 said.
The angry preacher failed to perceive the fault in his aggression, believing he was simply stating the word of God without any personal opinion or bias.
In the Holy Bible, however, a passage (John 4:7-8) reads, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."
The video of the incident went viral, with people commending Shuweikh for her bravery and the polite manner in which she dealt with the situation. Two days later, British Transport Police officers arrested the attacker on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offense.
Earlier this week, the father of the Jewish family and Shuweikh got together for some coffee and shared experiences with religious hatred.
This is the second time in the past few months that Jews have been attacked with anti-Semitic verbal abuse in the UK. In August, a video was released of a self-identified Palestinian man ranting at a Jewish couple on the Manchester Metrolink.
He asked them from across the tram car if they were familiar with "the situation in Gaza?" However, when people began challenging him, he told them he was simply asking a single question and it shouldn't be perceived as inflammatory.
The woman who filmed the incident reported it to the Community Support Trust (CST), an organization for reporting anti-Semitic hate crime.
According to CST, they recorded over 100 anti-Semitic incidents from January to June 2019 for the third consecutive year. The highest monthly totals in the first half of 2019 were February and March, with 182 and 169 anti-Semitic incidents, respectively.