Yasmin Seweid may only be 18 years old, but she sure knows how to stir up a political crapstorm. A few days ago, she was considered a victim of Islamophobia following an attack by three Trump supporters on a subway train. The “attack” consisted of the men trying to “rip that rag off your head” (speaking of her hijab). They also berated her in other ways.
— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) December 14, 2016
Police investigated the crime and found neither video surveillance nor eyewitness testimony to corroborate the story, which is kind of odd since this is Manhattan we’re talking about. There’s always video and always witnesses in a situation like that. Well, it all added up and police decided to pursue a different course of action.
Instead of continuing to pursue the mysterious Trump trio, they focused more closely on Seweid. On Wednesday, Pix11 reports, she turned herself in to the Hate Crimes Task Force headquarters. She was charged with filing a false police report and obstructing government administration, and is now freely admitting that yep, she made it up.
Police speculated that it all stemmed from a dispute with her parents over her having sex with a man (forbidden). When she turned herself in, she was not wearing the hijab and had shaven her head, presumably as a punishment.
While something like this might have gotten brushed aside 20 years ago, we all pretty much hate each other now, and we’ve got the technological means to stoke the fires of that hatred as much as we so desire, so Seweid’s actions here are a bit more serious, especially in the wake of a vitriolic election.
That aside, perhaps the real jack knobs in this story should be the news media that immediately ran with the story as a sign of bigotry instead of doing their due diligence and actually asking if there was proof it really happened. (Lookin’ at you, NY Daily News. Seriously, it’s in your city. Wouldn’t have been that hard to follow up, would it have been?)
(Featured Image: Hate Crimes Task Force)