64° Good Afternoon
64° Good Afternoon
Hello, we've upgraded our systems.

Please log back in to enjoy your subscription. Thank you for being part of the Newsday family.

Forgot your password? We can help go here.

Log in
Long IslandNassau

Muslim woman harassed on subway says she ‘can’t let it stop my life’

Yasmin Seweid, 18, seen in a photo with

Yasmin Seweid, 18, seen in a photo with her brother Abdoul, said she was harassed on a Manhattan train on Thursday night, Dec. 1, 2016, by three apparently drunk men who tried to pull off her hijab. Credit: Family photograph

The young Muslim woman who told police she was harassed by three men on a Manhattan subway said Saturday, though the verbal assault left her in tears, she was doing her best to move on.

Yasmin Seweid, 18, was insulted by three apparently drunk men while waiting for and riding the northbound 6 train after 10 p.m. on Thursday, she said.

The men called her a terrorist and shouted President-elect Donald Trump’s name in her direction before trying to yank off her hijab, the Baruch College student said Saturday.

“It was hard to hold it in. When people found out here I was crying all day,” said Seweid, outside her job at a swimming school in New Hyde Park. “But I’m better. I’m OK. I can’t let it stop my life, one thing. What can you do? It already happened.”

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident, police said. No one has been arrested in connection with the incident, the NYPD said Saturday.

The incident began when Seweid, an entrepreneurship and business management major who had stayed late to help clean up after a school function, left campus to wait on the platform for the northbound 6 train at the 23rd Street stop sometime after 10 p.m., she said. Three men who appeared to be intoxicated spotted her and started shouting in her direction, she said.

“I was really ignoring them at first. I had my headphone in and stuff but after that they got closer and they started screaming ‘Donald Trump’ and they called me a . . . terrorist,” Seweid said. “It’s just terrible.”

She went to the back of the car after boarding the train, and the men — in the middle of the car — continued to taunt her. The trio yelled “You don’t belong here,” and called her a terrorist, a law enforcement official said.

When she didn’t respond to their taunts, one of the three men pulled the strap of her tote bag and tore it in an attempt to get her to react, she said.

Moments later, one of the men reached for her hijab, partially removing it, she said. Seweid placed her hand on the top of her head to prevent the hijab from being pulled completely off, she said.

The train then pulled into the 42nd Street stop and that’s when Seweid ran out and reported the assault to an NYPD officer.

“It’s ignorance,” said Seweid’s brother, Abdoul, 22, adding that he was stunned that no one stepped in to help his sister.

“If I’m seeing three guys attack a woman on the train, I’m saying something,” he said. “Everyone just turned away.”

Abdoul, who said his sister was traumatized by the attack, worries about his sister riding on the subway.

“Now I’m at home every night wondering, is she going to come home OK,” said Abdoul at the New Hyde Park home where the family of six lives. “That’s my younger sister. I really hope they catch those guys because it’s not right. Hopefully the law takes care of it.”

Yasmin Seweid is working with NYPD investigators to try to find the three men, she said. She missed school Friday so she could review surveillance footage and an array of photos, she said. She will meet with investigators again on Wednesday, she said.

Seweid called her father, Sayeed, 56, a limousine driver who was working in Manhattan on Thursday night, to tell him about the incident, she said. The family patriarch was shaking as she told him about her run-in with the three men.

“This is my country. I’ve been here 35 years. These kids are born here. This is their country,” said Sayeed Seweid. “Treat them as you treat anybody else. That’s all.”

Nassau top stories