Los Angeles, United States, Nov 22 (EFE).- A former advisor to the government of former United States President Barack Obama was arrested Wednesday after being recorded harassing a street vendor of Egyptian origin in New York with Islamophobic comments.
Stuart Seldowitz is accused of three counts of harassment – one of them as a hate crime – with aggravated harassment in relation to a series of anti-Islamic statements, as reported Wednesday by the New York Police Department.
The 64 year old had been filmed by an X (formerly Twitter) user harassing and insulting a halal food vendor in the New York neighborhood of Manhattan, where the accused is from.
Footage shows how the former National Security Advisor sardonically asked the Muslim worker if he had raped his daughter “like (Prophet) Muhammad,” to which he politely responded to him to leave, while Seldowitz continued to intimidate him and callimg him a terrorist.
“It’s not my fault that you pray to a criminal (…) You support killing little children (…) If we kill 4,000 Palestinian children, you know what? “It wasn’t enough,” the former official said.
Seldowitz then gave an interview to NBC News in which he justified his behavior by saying the event had begun with an “innocent” conversation in which the merchant allegedly said he supported the Oct. 7 attack by Islamist group Hamas on Israel.
The accused served as president of the International Affairs division at the Gotham Government Relations law firm, which said Wednesday that they had severed their ties with Seldowitz over the incident.
“The video of his actions is vile, racist, and beneath the dignity of the standards we practice at our firm,” the firm wrote in a statement. EFE