Newsweek: NYC Hate Hoax ‘Highlights Pressures’ on Muslims

Yasmin Seweid

After a Muslim woman faked a hate crime where she alleged President-Elect Donald Trump supporters attacked her on a subway as New Yorkers looked on, Newsweek is now saying the hoax “highlights pressures” on Muslim teen girls.

Yasmin Seweid, 18, has been charged by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for filing a fraudulent police report after she claimed Trump supporters called her a terrorist and attempted to pull her hijab off her head, as Breitbart Texas reported.

A source with the New York Daily News said Seweid stood by her story until NYPD continued to press her on the matter after finding no evidence that the attack occurred. Seweid admitted that she had fabricated the story, claiming she had family problems.

Despite imagined Trump supporters and innocent New Yorkers being blamed for a hate crime that never occurred, Newsweek says Muslim teenage girls like Seweid are the real victims of instances where Muslims hoax hate crimes:

According to reports by multiple media outlets, she made up the story due to family pressures at home, and because she didn’t want to tell her father that she was out drinking with friends past her curfew. The New York City Police Department told Newsweek it couldn’t confirm that motive, and Newsweek has not been able to contact Seweid or her family. Saweed Seweid, Yasmin’s father, told DNAinfo: “Maybe she was afraid that night. She was running late.” He also said his daughter is “a bright, good girl.”

Robina Niaz, founder of Turning Point for Women and Families, an organization for Muslim women and girls based in Flushing, New York, says the pressure on Muslim women and girls, especially those who wear head coverings and are visibly Muslim, is enormous, especially since Trump’s election. Niaz says she founded the organization after the September 11, 2001 attacks because she “felt girls and women had just become trapped, especially the ones who were facing abuse or pressure at home.”

“I’m disturbed at the way [Seweid] is being attacked now, both from within and outside the community,” says Niaz, who grew up in a Muslim family in Pakistan. (She does not wear a head covering.) Niaz says some members of the Muslim community have turned against Seweid and her family, worried that her arrest means people won’t believe real hate crimes when they happen.

Rather than looking at patterns in hate crime hoaxes, which Breitbart Texas has tracked, which have been fabricated by other Muslims and anti-Trump individuals with the purpose of portraying Trump supporters as bigoted, Newsweek’s coverage of the incident blamed societal pressures on Muslims:

“How does a teenager, or a young person, balance all of that? What was going on that scared her so much that she had to make up a story like this? That is what I’m struggling with,” [Niaz] adds. “When an earthquake happens, the walls that have the cracks are going to crumble first.”

Newsweek also quoted Albert Fox Cahn, an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) New York, a controversial Islamic organization that Breitbart News has warned suspicion about.

Cahn said Seweid is facing a “trying time,” despite her report causing mainstream media hysteria over the perception of Trump supporters:

“This isolated incident doesn’t diminish from the fact that anti-Muslim harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes remain systematically underreported. Clearly this has been a trying time for Ms. Seweid, and we hope that she receives all possible support moving forward.” Cahn added that the organization has been in contact with Seweid and her family, but was unable to comment on whether she has a lawyer.

Newsweek’s coverage of the incident has a striking resemblance to that of Rolling Stone’s hoax University of Virginia (UVA) campus rape story, in which the magazine begrudgingly apologized for the fake news episode.

Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who wrote the phony campus rape story, noted in a statement that the months following the incident had been “among the most painful” of her life, failing to ever mention or apologize directly to the campus chapter of Phi Kappa Psi, which she falsely accused of gang rape.

John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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