Baruch College student Yasmin Seweid, we now know, was not herself the victim of a hate crime. She made it all up. But by telling the tale of her attack by men shouting “Trump,” ripping at her hijab, while a trainful of New Yorkers sat silent, she victimized many others.
First on the list: the New York Police Department, which spent precious resources chasing a fabricated assault. Cops tried to track down witnesses — there were none. They reviewed video for clues — there were none.
Next: her fellow New Yorkers, who did not in fact stand idly by while watching a woman be attacked because of her faith. We are not the city of Kitty Genovese; that story of passive witness to horror, so many years ago, was itself a myth. But the image persists that New Yorkers are a can’t-be-bothered-even-if-you’re-in-danger lot. It’s a lie.
Count among the wronged President-elect Donald Trump, who did not inspire three drunk men to home in on a vulnerable target who looked different from them.
And Seweid’s fellow Muslim Americans and others who are targeted by virulent hate. Credible sources, based on verified reports, have registered an increase in bias attacks in recent months, particularly since the November election.
Yet some Americans refuse to accept that it could be happening. They are ever eager to insist that it’s all a plot — by liberals, by the media — to vilify those with whom they disagree.
The next time a real victim of real hate comes forward, more cynics will scoff. They may even laugh. “Muslims lie,” now goes the reflexive accusation from some of the very people who claim bias against Islam is overblown.