Stuart Seldowitz was taken into custody on Wednesday on charges of harassing an Egyptian food vendor in New York City
Seldowitz was photographed smiling as he was perp walked on Wednesday night (Screenshot/X)
By Imran Mulla
Police in New York City have arrested Stuart Seldowitz, a former US State Department official, on Wednesday night after he was filmed telling an Egyptian halal food vendor that killing “4,000 Palestinian children, it wasn’t enough”.
Seldowitz, 64, was arrested on charges of aggravated harassment, hate crime stalking, stalking causing fear, and stalking at a place of employment, police said in a statement.
“A 24-year-old male victim stated to police that an individual approached him at his workplace multiple times and made anti-Islamic statements multiple times on different dates causing the victim to feel afraid and annoyed,” police said, according to the Reuters news agency.
Three videos surfaced online in recent days showing Seldowitz launching racist and anti-Islamic tirades against Mohamed Hussein, a 24-year-old New York City food truck vendor.
In one of the videos posted on X, Seldowitz is shown threatening Hussein with deportation back to Egypt and potential torture of his father at the hands of the country’s notorious intelligence services.
He says in one video: “The mukhabarat (intelligence) in Egypt will get your parents. Does your father like his fingernails? They’ll take them out one by one…”
“I don’t think I’m Islamophobic,” Seldowitz said later on Tuesday night, despite having asked the vendor: “’Did you rape your daughter like Muhammad did?”
“I regret the whole thing happened and I’m sorry,” he said, before adding: “If I had to do it all over again, I would not have raised the religious aspect.”
Hussein told The Independent that Seldowitz’s verbal attacks were entirely unprovoked.
“He cursed me out and cursed the Prophet Muhammad and then threatened he was going to do something to my family back in Egypt,” Hussein said, explaining that he was left “terrified” by the incidents.
Hussein’s colleague told New York-based news outlet Documented that after the videos surfaced online the food truck received an outpouring of suppor
Customers, both regular and newcomers, had turned up at his food cart to show their solidarity, he said.
He added most of the food truck’s customers are Jewish: “I love them, and they love my food.”