Former Obama advisor arrested, charged with hate crime over Islamophobic comments

A view of a halal food cart whose employee, 24-year-old Islam Moustafa, was racially abused and threatened a couple of times by one of former Obama administration advisers, Stuart Seldowitz. (Photo/AA)

Stuart Seldowitz, a former Obama administration adviser, who was captured on video making threats and Islamophobic comments against a Muslim food vendor in New York City, has been arrested and faces charges of hate crime.

Seldowitz, 64, faces charges including aggravated harassment and several counts of stalking, the New York Times reported citing police sources.

In another video which was taken during an evening encounter with the same vendor, identified as 24-year-old Islam Moustafa, Seldowitz speaks about "his friends in immigration" and says "the Mukhabarat wants your picture," referring to Egypt’s intelligence agency.

Wearing a green hoodie, he says: "The Mukhabarat in Egypt will get your parents. Does your father like his fingernails? They’ll take them out one by one."

The vendor responds with "Go, go."

Seldowitz then picks up his phone and appears to take a photo of the vendor, telling him to "smile for me."

'Vile, racist'

Refusing to leave the area, he makes insults against Prophet Muhammad and Islam's holy book Quran.

"That's why you're selling food in a food cart, because you're ignorant. But you should learn English. It'll help you when they deport you back to Egypt and then the Mukhabarat wants to interview you."

In another video, he harasses the same vendor but is interrupted by a bystander who tells him to leave, saying "It's not right, you are harassing."

Seldowitz served as the acting director for the National Security Council South Asia Directorate under the Obama administration. He also worked as a senior political officer in the State Department's Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs.

"Gotham Government Relations has ended all affiliation with Stuart Seldowitz, an individual who hasn't contributed to our work in years. The video of his actions is vile, racist, and beneath the dignity of the standards we practice at our firm," it said on X.


Source: TRT