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Former U.S. Official Sparks Outrage with Racist Attacks on NYC Egyptian Muslim Vendor

November 23, 2023
Photo: Mohamed Hussein next to his food truck in New York City. Photo credit: The Independent

In a series of disturbing incidents captured on video, Mohamed Hussein, a 24-year-old Egyptian Muslim food vendor in New York City, was racially abused by Stuart Seldowitz, a former high-ranking U.S. official. 

Seldowitz, who served in various roles spanning five presidencies, including as a National Security Council director, was filmed making derogatory remarks, including calling Hussein a “terrorist” among a number of other Islamophobic and xenophobic remarks on multiple occasions, as seen in videos circulating on social media. 

In the first video, Seldowitz mocks Hussein about his citizenship, alleging that Hussein supports Hamas, and ruthlessly states that “the death of 4,000 Palestinian children wasn’t enough,” concluding with a dismissive wave to the camera. In another incident, occurring at night, Seldowitz took pictures of Hussein and threatened to involve Egypt’s intelligence service, known colloquially in Egypt as the Mukhabarat, using his political connections. 

Seldowitz also mocked Hussein for not speaking English and suggested that the latter should learn the language so he would not be deported to Egypt. Further adding to the disturbing incidents, Seldowitz was seen to be insulting the Quran as well as making provocative statements about Prophet Muhammad. Throughout these encounters, Hussein repeatedly asked Seldowitz to leave him be and emphasized that he was trying to work, while Seldowitz kept on harassing him. 

The incidents have prompted a number of reactions, leading to Seldowitz’s termination from lobbying firm Gotham Government Relations, where he held an honorary position as ‘Foreign Affairs Chair’. Seldowitz then admitted to being the person in the videos,  after a spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed to The Independent that he was taken into custody on Wednesday on charges including aggravated harassment, hate crime, and stalking. 

New York Mayor Eric Adams condemned the Islamophobic remarks, stating, “Islamophobia is hate. Plain and simple. This vile, disrespectful rhetoric has no home in our city.” Many New Yorkers have expressed support for Mohamed Hussein, and plans for legal action against Seldowitz are underway.

These incidents highlights the escalating Islamophobic and anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States, exacerbated by the recent war on Gaza. On 16 October, Joseph Czuba, 71 brutally stabbed six-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume to death because he was Muslim, and seriously wounded his mother in Plainfield, Illinois. 

Comments (2)

  1. Hello my dear friends and readers of Egiptian Streets! This story is a perfect example of ACTING WRONG IN THIS WORLD. It is HIGH TIME people should separate all these 3 elements WORLDWIDE: Nationality. Religion. Personal actions. Nationality: It is all about your legacy and culture. Like being egyptian should make you proud of your family, ancestors and everything they brought to our WORLD. Religion: This is a free choice of your own soul or mind (if you are agnostic). But if you dive deep into the CORE of all religions or agnostic beliefs you will finf one thing that is COMMON: they are ALL about LOVE, FREEDOM and COMPASSIOM TO THE OTHERS. No matter if you are Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, WHATEVER! Personal actions: If you help other people and let them live with their own choices, then you ARE A HUMAN. You should BE PROUD of yourself! I you bring other people SUFFERING or let others to do that, that means your are NOT ACTING LIKE A HUMAN. And all that brings us to the REALITY: Hamas, Zionists, let’s call all of them PREDATORS. They are NOT HUMANS. They have their own agenda of getting rich and live ABOVE THE OTHERS. Let’s fight them TOGETHER. Do not let yourself be fooled by their AGENDA. People of Gaza, or Palestinians are not Hamas. And Judaism is not Zionism (please, watch videos like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIX368TtOJs). REMEMBER THAT! Peace and love from Poland. I was raised as Catholic and I love everybody. I have many friends of different nationalities or religions. And we all are HUMANS and FRIENDS fighting together against THE PREDATORS.

    1. BTW: I was writing this comment under some personal pressure of feelings, so forgive me any language errors. I have no doubt that you understood the full context…