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A Woman In A Hijab Confronted A Man Harassing A Jewish Family On A Subway

British Transport Police said a man was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated crime after the incident on the London Underground.

Posted on November 24, 2019, at 5:01 p.m. ET

A woman in a hijab and other subway passengers stepped up to help a Jewish family being harassed with anti-Semitic comments.

The incident, which took place Friday afternoon on the London Underground, was shared by Chris Atkins in a video posted to Twitter, where it went viral. According to the British Transport Police, a suspect was arrested on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offense on Saturday in Birmingham and has not yet been released.

The video shows a man aggressively reading a passage from the Bible about "the synagogue of Satan" to another man and a young boy, both of whom were wearing yarmulkes.

“Just ignore him,” the father says to his son.

Another passenger, whose face can’t be seen on camera, then approaches the man reading from the Bible, prompting an outburst.

“You get out of my face or I’m going to smack you right in the nose. Back up from me,” the Bible-reading man says in the video. “I’m not no Christian pastor.”

A woman standing nearby wearing a hijab, whom a local news outlet identified as Asma Shuweikh, then interrupted the man’s offensive rant. “There’s children here,” she says to him in the video.

“Listen, these people are impostors, trying to claim our heritage,” he says to her.

The video has been viewed over 5 million times and has been retweeted nearly 20,000 times.

Shuweikh told Sky News that she witnessed the entire incident, from when the man first saw the Jewish family sit down on the train. He rushed over to them and started to harass them, she said. She said the man mostly addressed the young boy seen in the video, and that she feared the man was going to become “very violent” if she didn’t intervene.

“I thought, if I reason with him and talk to him and pretend that I’m sympathetic with what he’s saying, maybe I can defuse the problem because he was actually talking to a little boy,” Shuweikh said.

According to Shuweikh, the man became even more aggressive off-camera after the video stopped.

"I did start to panic when he came up into my face, but I managed to keep a calmness and keep trying to defuse the situation,” she told Sky News.

"If it had been me I would have liked someone to stand up for me."


This post has been updated to specify that the man and boy were wearing yarmulkes. The original wording, skullcaps, does not acknowledge the religious significance of the head covering.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.