Jewish man assaulted on Berlin U-Bahn says his case must not become cause for anti-Muslim feeling

A Jewish man who was badly beaten by a group of Muslim youths on the Berlin U-Bahn has come forward to say he does not want what happened to him to be used to incite anti-Muslim feeling.

Shahak Shapira, a 26-year-old Israeli citizen resident in Germany, was attacked when he tried to film a group of Muslim youths singing an anti-Semitic song in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

“The incident must not be abused to incite hatred against Muslims,” Mr Shapira said in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “I have already noticed how some are trying to exploit it. My attackers could just as easily have be neo-Nazis and beaten an Arab.”

Mr Shapira, who has lived in Germany for 12 years, was travelling with a group of friends in a packed U-Bahn carriage when a group of young men started singing an anti-Semitic song, and cursing Jews and Israel.

When two people sitting next to the group asked them to stop, the youths threatened them and spat at them, Mr Shapira said. He started to film the incident on his mobile phone, but when he tried to get off the train at Friedrichstrasse station, in central Berlin, the group followed him and demanded that he delete the footage.

When he refused, they attacked him, punching and kicking him. He was pulled back onto the safety of the train by his friends…