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Woman thanks passengers for support as police seek man over anti-Muslim rant

Published 24/11/2015

Passengers on the Newcastle Metro system rallied to the defence of Muslim women who were subjected to a hateful tirade
Passengers on the Newcastle Metro system rallied to the defence of Muslim women who were subjected to a hateful tirade

A Muslim woman has thanked the public for standing up to a bully who threatened her and her sister on a packed train.

Ruhi Rahman, 23, said passengers including football fans in replica tops on the Tyne and Wear Metro were "angels" after they told her abuser to get off the train.

The incident on Saturday afternoon between Newcastle and Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, is being investigated. It ended with the carriage clapping as the man got off at the next station.

Ms Rahman wrote on Facebook about the frightening episode, when a stranger approached the sisters and told them: "Get out of this seat now this is my country.

"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.

"Also they even told the man to get of the Metro.

"It was so sweet to see how everyone in the Metro got the man off and then clapped at the end.

"It really shows me how this world is full of such sweet people and some dogs too.

"The woman beside me started to cry because she was so disgusted with his comments and she said no one should go though this and everyone also gave me a hug.

"It made me smile and appreciate how lovely they all were.

"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 online post, she said the response from people had turned a negative "into something so positive".

She added: "I was so overwhelmed and still am with all your support.

"Geordies are truly the best!"

Sharon Kelly, managing director at 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."

Northumbria Police Metro Inspector Ian King 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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