Unveiling the Bigotry: The Stuart Seldowitz CaseNovember 24, 2023
A man named Stuart Seldowitz has been arrested on hate crime charges after a video of him making anti-Muslim comments towards an Upper East Side food vendor went viral. Seldowitz, a former Obama administration State Department official, faces criminal charges after the video showed him making cruel and bigoted remarks to the vendor, including asking if the vendor had raped his daughter like Muhammad allegedly did.
The video also shows Seldowitz threatening to send a photo of the vendor to his “friends in immigration” and making cruel remarks about Egypt’s security services torturing the man upon deportation. The video has served to shine a light on Islamophobic harassment and the need for basic human kindness in New York, a city with a diverse population.
The fact that these hateful comments came from a former State Department official has been described as embarrassing and revealing. Seldowitz’s arrest comes after his professional associations with a government lobbying firm were severed due to the public’s reaction to the viral video.
Seldowitz faces charges of hate crime, aggravated harassment, and stalking, and the courts will ultimately decide if his speech crossed the line into criminal behavior. The incident serves as a reminder that while freedom of speech is important, there are rare circumstances in which speech can legitimately result in criminal consequences.