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Former White House Advisor’s Islamophobic Remark Sparks Controversy; Issued Apology

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New Delhi: Stuart Seldowitz, a former White House advisor to ex-President Barack Obama is under fire after videos surfaced online showing him making Islamophobic remarks and harassing a New York City food vendor.

In the videos posted on X (formerly Twitter), Seldowitz is seen making inflammatory comments about the Prophet and the Quran, stating, “If we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, you know what, it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough.”

In one clip, Seldowitz labels the vendor a “terrorist,” accuses him of supporting Hamas, and references his “friends in immigration” and the “Mukhabarat,” hinting at an Egyptian intelligence agency.

“The Mukhabarat in Egypt will get your parents. Does your father like his fingernails? They’ll take them out one by one,” he says, while the vendor asks him to leave, citing a lack of English proficiency.

After the video went viral, Seldowitz issued a half-hearted apology for harassing a vendor. On November 21, Gotham Government Relations, a Manhattan-based lobbying firm, cut all ties with Seldowitz. The firm issued a statement saying that his actions were “vile, racist, and beneath the dignity of the standards we practice at our firm.” In response, Seldowitz expressed surprise at the firm’s decision, claiming he hadn’t worked with them “for a very long time.”

Seldowitz admitted he hadn’t seen them but believed it was likely him. “It is quite possible that it’s me. I mean, I’ve not seen the video, but I believe it’s probably me,” he stated. Despite this, he offered a muted apology for his behaviour, saying, “I regret the whole thing that happened, and I’m sorry. But you know, in the heat of the moment, I said things that probably I shouldn’t have said.”

Seldowitz explained that he wanted to discuss the Israel-Hamas war with the vendor, expressing disappointment when the vendor didn’t condemn Hamas. “If I had to do it all over again, I would not have raised the religious aspect,” he acknowledged. Seldowitz also emphasized, “I don’t think I’m an Islamophobic guy. I’ve spoken up for equal treatment of Muslims on numerous occasions with numerous different people.”

 

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