A Jewish father and a Muslim mother made headlines last weekend with a show of pluralism when a belligerent subway passenger in the UK taunted and intimidated a Jewish family.
In the video above, a 35-year-old man taunted a Jewish family including intimidating a young Jewish boy before a Muslim mother stepped in. Asma Shuweikh, 36, intervened, trying to de-escalate the situation by calmly engaging the man. Her attempts came after another man tried to intervene and was threatened with violence. Nonetheless, Shuweikh persisted having watched the full exchange.
As the Jewish News reported, Shuweikh and the Jewish father met again on Monday in a cafe to reconnect in a more peaceful environment and learn more about each other. Shuweikh shared,
“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. It was very nice. It was lovely. We’re going to keep in touch. My faith is what drives me to do this. We always encourage to speak out against injustice.”
The story is a testament to interfaith, to moving from a place of tolerance (where we come together) to plurality (where we stand together).
At the same time as this story surfaced, another story emerged out of Sydney, Australia that show a heavily pregnant Muslim woman being attacked. As the footage (warning: extremely graphic) shows, the man appears to be casually approaching her table and makes conversation. He then begins to kick in the woman in the head and stomp on her back.
Shuweikh’s actions in London were especially heroic given the fact that others who tried to help were threatened with violence.