A Muslim man was forced to get off the Tube after a commuter accused him of behaving suspiciously. The man turned off his iPad when the fellow passenger eyed it, but that left the onlooker alarmed.
The man apparently then asked the Muslim man to leave the train. The man was travelling on the Piccadilly Line on 9 December.
"There was a guy stood up, dressed smartly with a man bag. He wasn't being overtly aggressive but he had clearly taken offence to something another passenger had done. I saw people reacting so I took my headphones off and realised he was asking someone who looked Arabic to get off the train, amongst other things, because he felt threatened by him," an eyewitness named Jonny told Evening Standard.
"Apparently he had turned off his iPad as the smartly dressed man had looked at it. This was deemed to be 'suspicious' in his eyes," Jonny said.
Some commuters came to the defence of the Muslim man and called the "abuser racist but he was unfazed". The Muslim man looked shocked at the incident and later got off at Wood Green station, eyewitness said.
The British Transport Police (BTP) has called for victims and witnesses of hate crimes to report any incidents. "Everyone has the right to travel safely, and nobody should feel threatened on the rail network," a BTP spokesperson said.
Tell MAMA, which records anti-Muslim incidents, said the number of hate crimes against Muslims is on the rise. "Sadly, fears around Muslims in general are heightened and such actions have an impact," the group's director Fiyaz Mughal, said. "This cannot be allowed to happen and plays into the hands of extremists who want to divide us."
According to STV, a bus travelling on a roadway near Glasgow on 4 December was evacuated after a couple informed the driver about a "passenger behaving suspiciously with a device in his lap". Police later found the device to be an e-cigarette and not a bomb.