A Muslim college student, who claimed a group of drunken Donald Trump supporters harassed her on the New York City subway, has landed herself in big trouble with the law enforcement.
Apparently, Yasmin Seweid had been lying to the cops the entire time and is now under arrest for obstructing government administration and reporting a false incident.
“Nothing happened, and there was no victim,” said a police source.
Seweid, an 18-year-old Baruch College student, made headlines earlier this month after she wrote an emotional Facebook post, alleging three white men shouting “Donald Trump” verbally confronted her on the subway and tried to rip her hijab.
She claimed the hate crime took place late at night as she was leaving a college event.
“They were surrounding me from behind and they were like, ‘Oh look, it’s an f***ing terrorist,'" the Brooklyn-born teen said at the time. “I didn’t answer. They pulled my strap of the bag and it ripped, and that’s when I turned around and I was really polite and I was like, 'Can you please leave me alone?' And everyone was looking, no one said a thing, everyone just looked away.”
Seweid also alleged other commuters just stood there and watched the scene unfold, instead of coming to her aid.
“Trump America is real and I witnessed it first hand last night! What a traumatizing night,” she wrote.
Shortly after the incident, several New Yorker rallied for her support.
However, when the police began investigating Seweid’s story, they could not find a single witness or surveillance footage to identify the perpetrators or corroborate the attack.
Her Facebook page has also been deleted.
On Tuesday, the teen reportedly recanted her story and admitted she made up the hate crime. The officials claimed Seweid had broken her curfew after being out late and drinking with friends, so she fabricated an attack to keep her out of trouble with her parents.
“This isn’t something we normally like to do but she had numerous opportunities to admit nothing happened and she kept sticking by her story,” explained an NYPD source, referring to her arrest.
As the DNA Info reports, “a source explained that, given the amount of time detectives spent chasing the phony story, and how politically charged the allegation was, the police and prosecutors felt compelled to charge her.”
Seweid was also reported missing for several days after the incident, but was later found safe.
While Seweid’s father believes his daughter was “young and maybe she was foolish here,” the truth is that her lie can negatively affect hundreds of genuine hate crime victims across the country – especially if they are Muslim and wear hijab.
It might deter real victims of discrimination and Islamophobia from coming forward and lead others to cast doubts on each of their sufferings. It is embarrassing, discouraging and could spread even more hatred and misconceptions about the people who follow Islam.
Will the people who stood up for Seweid now do the same for others who tell a similar story?
Sadly, it takes one such incident to discredit all the others – and that is not fair at all.
In the aftermath of the presidential election, hate crimes – particularly against Muslims – have witnessed a dramatic rise. The Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded more than 800 incidents of Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist harassment in the 10 days following Trump’s election victory.
Thumbnail and Banner Image Credits: Reuters