“Drunk men screaming Trump’s name try to rip off Muslim student’s hijab as straphangers stand idly by on East Side subway, cops say”
by Bob Schwartz
This is from today’s New York Daily News.
I have mixed feelings about repeating such a negative story. But I am repeating it because Google News shows that at this point it has been covered by only 26 news outlets in America and the world.
Only twenty-six news outlets. Practically any story gets more coverage than that—let alone a story with major social implications, involving the next President of the United States, or at least his name as a rallying cry.
One more thing: Take the hateful actions of these attackers, and imagine their shouting the name of some other President. Imagine these men shouting “You look like a f—ing terrorist! Get the hell out of the country! You don’t belong here!” followed by “George Bush! George Bush!” or “Ronald Reagan! Ronald Reagan!”
Are we ready for this New World?
STRAPHANGERS STOOD BY AND WATCHED as three drunk white men repeatedly screamed “Donald Trump!” and hurled anti-Islam slurs Thursday at a Muslim Baruch College student before trying to rip her hijab off of her head on an East Side subway, the woman told the Daily News.
Yasmin Seweid said she was stunned by the assault — and the fact that no one in the subway car came to her aid.
“It made me really sad after when I thought about it,” she said. “People were looking at me and looking at what was happening and no one said a thing. They just looked away.”
The terrified 18-year-old recounted her harrowing encounter with the hate-spewing trio.
“I heard them say something very loudly, something about Donald Trump … I also heard them say the word terrorist and I sort of got a little scared,” Seweid told The News.
Seweid had left an event at Baruch and was on her way home on an uptown No. 6 platform at the 23rd St. and Park Ave. stop at about 10 p.m. Thursday when the men started taunting her, she said.
They hollered at the business major as she boarded a train.
They kept screaming Trump’s name at her, and then said, “Oh look, a (expletive) terrorist,” she said.
“Get the hell out of the country!” they yelled during the train ride. “You don’t belong here!”
Seweid, who was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to Egyptian parents, was shocked.
“I born and raised in this country,” she told The News. “I’m an American, you know?”
When Seweid ignored them, they pulled on her bag to get her attention and the strap broke.
“That’s when I turned around and said ‘can you please leave me alone,’ and they started laughing,” she said.
She walked to the other end of the train, and they followed her and tried to pull off her hijab, a head covering worn by Muslim women.
“Take that thing off!” they hollered.
“I put my hand on top of my head to hold it,” Seweid said. “Then I turned around and screamed ‘what the (expletive).’ ”
Seweid got off the train at Grand Central Terminal on E. 42nd St. and reported the terrifying incident to police.
Her father, Sayeed Seweid, 55, of New Hyde Park, L.I., said he was also angry that no one else stepped in to defend his daughter.
“Nobody even offered to help an 18-year-old girl,” he said. “That means something. Her phone was dying. You offer help — it doesn’t matter the race, religion, or the country.”
After filing a police report, shaking and crying, Seweid made her way to Penn Station where she called her father after finding an electrical outlet to charge her phone, her father said. She was not injured.
He came and picked her up and they chatted with police into the early morning hours before driving home.
On Friday, Seweid sat with police officers and tried to help spot the men on surveillance video, her father said. No one has been arrested.
The incident is another in a growing list of bias crimes across the city since Trump’s election. Cops said that from Nov. 8 through Nov. 27, there were 34 reported incidents compared to 13 in the same period in 2015.
“American Muslims, and particularly men and women who wear religious attire, are being increasingly targeted by hate nationwide in the wake of the Nov. 8 election,” said Afaf Nasher, executive director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“I was very shaken up … I’m definitely traumatized,” Seweid said. “I’m really scared.”
Of the 34 incidents between Election Day and Nov. 27, 18 have been anti-Semitic in nature, compared to five in the same period last year. Five of the incidents have been anti-gay, and five others, anti-white. Two targeted Muslims and one was anti-black.
This is disturbing and disgusting, but it is a timely reminder to myself – if I’m on that train with her, let me be the one to say something, do something.
Thanks for the comment. Yes, that is one of the first things I thought about too. I imagined myself in that subway car, and wondered whether I would stand up or at least speak out. I hope I would, I imagined that I would, but maybe I am just making myself the hero of my own movie. Anyway, it may be a good time to recite the words of Hillel the Elder: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”
Why being so distraught after being attacked by 3 men did the police not 1) allow her to charge her phone – it takes time to file a complaint – or 2) make the call to her father to pick her up at the station rather than have her head back to the train station. Alone. This doesn’t make sense.
Thanks for your comment. I don’t have answers for these questions, but it did make me look to see if there were any updates. As it turns out, there were more developments. See this post.