One man has shared the story of his disturbing but ultimately inspirational encounter on the London Underground.
Ashley Powys, 22, from London, found himself sitting opposite a young girl wearing a hijab while travelling from Oxford Circus to his home in Stockwell when the girl was then subjected to a barrage of racist abuse from another passenger on the train.
According to Ashley’s Facebook post:
The man got closer to her and was reeling off abuse, calling her things like ‘rag-head’, ‘terrorist’, ‘scum’, and saying that ‘her people’ murdered the victims of the Paris attacks this weekend.
As the man was aggressively close and the girl was clearly terrified, Ashley stood and pushed him away from her, prompting the man to turn his attention to him, calling him a ‘terrorist sympathiser’ among other things. To try and distract her, and form a barrier from what was going on, Ashley sat next to the understandably teary-eyed girl, who told him her name was Yara.
In a final act of kindness, our hero stayed on the train with Yara until her stop and even escorted her to where she was meeting friends, at which point the poor girl began to cry because of what she called his ‘tremendous kindness and bravery.’
I don’t think that’s true. I just saw someone in need, and it was my human nature to do what I could.I told her in confidence that there are many people like me and she should never have to feel afraid in her own country. And this is her country, and her city.
Ashley finished his post with this heartwarming reminder:
Thoroughly decent chap, we commend you sir.