Ex-U.S. diplomat cuffed for spewing anti-Islamic remarks at New York halal vendors
Police arrested 30-year State Department employee Stuart Seldowitz, 66, on charges of harassment and stalking as a hate crime.
By Sheetal Banchariya New York Daily News, Colin Mixson |
An ex-US diplomat and adviser to former president Barack Obama was arrested Wednesday for hurling anti-Islamic remarks at halal vendors in Manhattan, cops said.
Police cuffed 30-year State Department employee Stuart Seldowitz, 66, on charges of harassment and stalking as a hate crime for spewing Islamophobic remarks to vendors on E. 83rd St. near Second Ave. on Nov. 7, cops said.
Videos posted to social media allegedly depicted the former diplomat laughing as he asked food vendors, “Did you rape your daughter like Muhammad did?” and “If we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, you know what? It wasn’t enough.”
Islam Moustafa, who along with partners Yasser Nawar and Ahmed Raki owns the Q Halal cart, said he initially believed their harasser was mentally disturbed.
“It became more irritating when I learned he’s an ex-Obama official adviser,” said Moustafa.
Seldowtiz visited the E. 83rd St. food cart at least four times after the initial incident on Nov. 7, the food vendors say. During those visits, he harassed the cart’s workers, including 24-year-old Mohammed Hussain, according to Moustafa.
“How could someone in that status stoop so low in conversation with a 24-year-old?” Moustafa asked.
At one point while Hussain was prepping the cart, Seldowitz threatened to report him to his contacts in Egyptian intelligence, Moustafa said.
“Everything is on the video,” Moustafa said. “Muhammad repeatedly begged him to leave, but the guy persisted.”