Good Samaritan 101: Muslim helps Jew Attacked on New York Subway

Posted on December 12, 2007


The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating Friday’s incident on the Q train.

 Friday’s altercation on the Q train began when somebody yelled out “Merry Christmas,” to which rider Walter Adler responded, “Happy Hanukkah,” said Toba Hellerstein.

“Almost immediately, you see the look in this guy’s face like I’ve called his mother something,” Adler told CNN affiliate WABC.

Two women who were with a group of 10 rowdy people then began to verbally assault Adler’s companions with anti-Semitic language, Hellerstein said.

One member of the group allegedly yelled, “Oh, Hanukkah. That’s the day that the Jews killed Jesus,” she said.

When Adler tried to intercede, a male member of the group punched him, she said.

Another passenger, Hassan Askari — a Muslim student from Bangladesh — came to Adler’s aid, and the group began physically and verbally assaulting him, Hellerstein said.

A Muslim-American saved us when our own people were on the train and didn’t do anything,” Adler said.

Please read the remainder of the article from CNN.   Here is a video clip of what happened.

Please click here to watch the CNN video clip of Adler describing what happened.

Comment from Rafik Beekun:

This story is symptomatic of what wonderful things can happen when people of different faiths help one another.  Jews, Christians and Muslims are all part of the great Abrahamic tradition, and should remember that, at the core of their faith, is a message of peace and brotherhood.

Please note that this incident is not the first time that Jews and Muslims have helped one another.  Here are some more examples:

1. Good Samaritan 101: Jews come to the help of Muslims in buidling new mosque

2. Jewish voice for peace against intolerance and Islamophobia

In spite of all the bad press generated by a minuscule percentage of Muslims, it is important to remember that there is a very strong emphasis on tolerance in Islam. Not only during the centuries of Muslim presence in Spain, but also during the second world war itself, Muslims have stepped forward to protect Jews when they were being persecuted by the Nazis. Robert Satloff’s extraordinary book entitled “Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands” narrates many incidents of how Arabs and Muslims protected Jews during the horrific years of the Holocaust. I discuss tolerance in Islam in a previous article on this blog. Please click here to read this article entitled “Tolerance towards others (Part 1)“. Peace.  Happy Hanukkah.