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Train passengers stand up against racial abuse of Muslim woman

A Muslim woman has thanked the public for standing up to a man who racially abused her and her sister on a packed Newcastle train.

Ruhi Rahman, 23, said she was threatened when the abuser told other passengers she could bomb the train, as she sat with her sister.

Other passengers on the on the Tyne and Wear Metro carriage, including football fans in replica shirts, were “angels” Rahman said, and told the man to get off the train.

The incident on Saturday afternoon between Newcastle and Whitley Bay,

which is under investigation, ended with passengers clapping as the man

got off at the next station.

Rahman, from Newcastle, wrote on her Facebook page about the episode

and how a stranger had approached the sisters, telling them: “Get out of

this seat now. This is my country.”

She said the man hurled anti-Muslim abuse at them, and said: “You’re

bombing different countries and don’t deserve to be here or in this

country.”

She said: “Before I even got a chance to react to his comments the women

beside me supported me and helped. After a while most of the people on the

Metro came over and spoke up for us and were being so supportive,”

Rahman said, adding: “Also they even told the man to get off the Metro.”

She said it was “so sweet” to see how her fellow passengers on the Metro

had supported her. “It really shows me how this world is full of such sweet

people, and some dogs too,” Rahman said.

She said a woman beside her had started to cry “because she was so

disgusted with his comments and she said no one should go though this”

adding that “everyone also gave me a hug”. “It made me smile and

appreciate how lovely they all were,” Rahman said.

She added: “I hope more people can not be so narrow-minded and realise

how Islam should not be blamed for an individual’s act

because Islam stands for peace not terrorism.”

In a separate post, she said the response from people had turned a negative

“into something so positive”. She said: “I was so overwhelmed and still am

with all your support.” She added: “Geordies are truly the best!”

Sharon Kelly, managing director of DB Regio Tyne and Wear, which

operates the Metro on behalf of Nexus, said: “We urge anyone with

information about this incident to contact the police.The safety of our

passengers is paramount. Incidents of this nature are rare on Metro and

they will not be tolerated.

“A police investigation is now under way and we will work with them to

help trace the culprit. This will include reviewing any available CCTV

footage.”

Insp Ian King, from Northumbria police’s Metro unit, said: “We have

received a report of an alleged racist incident happening on a Metro train at

around 4.45pm on Saturday. Northumbria police take a hard stance against

any form of attack on any minority group or individual and officers will be

investigating this report.”

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