From one Muslim to another: Stop faking hate crimes

18-year-old Yasmin Seweid was arrested for making a false report to police that she was attacked by three Trump supporters to avoid getting in trouble with her parents for missing curfew and dating a Christian. (Photo via NYPD)

18-year-old Yasmin Seweid was arrested for making a false report to police that she was attacked by three Trump supporters to avoid getting in trouble with her parents for missing curfew and dating a Christian. (Photo via NYPD)

You knew it was too good to be true.

That hate crime that 18-year-old Yasmin Seweid reported to police in which she, a young vulnerable Muslim woman, was attacked by three Donald Trump supporters on the subway turned out to be false (or fake news, if you will).

And now she’s being charged with filing a false report and obstructing governmental administration. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Yet, when this fake hate crime was initially reported as real, it didn’t stop hack activists like Shaun King from posting on social media about it (which he has since deleted). Countless mainstream news organizations reported it as real news.

As someone who was born and raised Muslim, I get it. It’s hard to be a Muslim in the world, today. We’re misunderstood. Sometimes we’re assaulted verbally or even physically. And some are even killed for what they believe. And more often than not, the perpetrators come from our own faith, not from those who voted for the President-elect.

Groups like ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, and al-Shabaab have killed thousands of deeply devout, peaceful Muslims for the way they practice their faith.

Americans are good people. Not only do we take pride in the fact that we’re a nation of immigrants, but we also embrace diversity in every facet: race, religion, gender, sexual preference, and even political beliefs (although we struggle with the last one). The Constitution gives Americans like myself and Yasmin Seweid the protections to not only say what we feel but also practice our faith freely without persecution from the government.

Apparently, Seweid didn’t consider any of this before she faked her hate crime story in which she alleged that the three Trump supporters who attacked her kept shouting “Donald Trump.” Instead, she recklessly avoided telling the truth to her parents, because she missed curfew and was trying to cover up dating a Christian.

That’s somewhat of an odd twist to the story, as most fake hate crimes that go viral are pushed for likes, comments, shares, and followers on social media. I can at least empathize with Yasmin because I know what it’s like to be her age and date someone from a different faith. Albeit, she’s a woman and is most likely held to a different standard than most Muslim men.

So, if you’re going through something similar and feel you have to lie to your parents, please don’t make up a hate crime, especially when these incidents are so politically charged. Faking a hate crime questions the credibility of anyone and everyone who suffers from real hate crimes.

Donald Trump supporters aren’t vicious, cruel, and want to beat or kill everyone who’s different from them. They’re real people with real problems like you and me.


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