Woman confronts a man targeting children with anti-Semitic abuse on London train

Posted at 10:30 AM, Nov 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-24 11:30:53-05

Originally Published: 24 NOV 19 06:51 ET
Updated: 24 NOV 19 10:48 ET

    (CNN) -- 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. 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,

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.


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