The situation that 17-year old Ahmed Khalifa saw was disgusting. He was on board a Brooklyn subway train, listening to his headphones like many teens do, when he looked up and saw a man deck a woman who’s an Orthodox Jew. She was just reading a book on the train, and he went up and slapped her so hard that he shattered her glasses and knocked her unconscious. Khalifa says he could almost feel it:
“It was a very hard slap, I almost could feel the slap. He was 6-foot-6, and a very big, big guy.”
He could have decided not to get involved. After all, he’s Muslim and she’s Jewish, and we all know Muslims are evil jihadists who especially hate Jewish people. He’s a teenaged boy and the woman’s attacker was huge. He could have stuck his head back in his headphones and minded his own business…except he decided that catching the guy was his business. So, as Rayvon Jones ran, Khalifa held the train’s doors open and yelled to the conductor to stay at the station and call for help.
And then he took off after Jones, while also calling the cops. Khalifa later said, on camera:
“I felt bad for her because she was innocent, like innocent, she did nothing wrong.”
He did lose Jones briefly, but another Orthodox Jew asked him what happened, and then offered to help Khalifa find Jones. When they found Jones at a bus stop, they called what’s known as the Shomrim, or the Jewish safety patrol. Jones climbed on a bus and pulled his hoodie over his head, prompting Khalifa to shout:
“Get out you coward! Why are you trying to hide!”
When the police got there and pulled Jones off the bus, he got aggressive and kept screaming he was going to kill everyone. He was taken into custody and charged with assault, and one of the Shomrim drivers took Khalifa home. The woman was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Khalifa sees everyone as people. People asked him why he would help a Jewish woman when he’s Muslim, and it’s his nature to treat everyone the same way. Obviously, when someone needs help, he helps, regardless of who it is. “Us vs. them” doesn’t seem to have touched him the way it’s touched so many others. People, especially fearful, bigoted conservatives, could learn a lesson or two from this teenager.
Khalifa, while he doesn’t see himself as a hero, is a hero. Watch a video of Jones’ capture and an interview with Khalifa below:
Featured image via video screen capture