The sister of Yasmin Seweid, the 18-year-old Muslim woman who lied about being harassed by a group of Donald Trump supporters on the New York City subway earlier this month, is blaming the media and the New York City police department for investigating the story.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Sara Seweid also appeared to excuse her hoaxing sister, expressing concern over the “mental state of young Muslim women who feel that they have to lie so intensely to survive.”
On Wednesday, Yasmin, a student at Baruch College, admitted that she lied to police when she claimed that she was harassed by three pro-Trump white men on the subway. Seweid claimed that the men called her a terrorist and attempted to remove her hijab. And worse, she said, passengers on the subway car refused to intervene to help her.
The story went viral, with news outlets reporting her allegations without questioning whether she may have been lying. Seweid also gave interviews to local news stations.
Seweid admitted on Wednesday that she made up the story so that she would not get in trouble for missing her curfew. She was arrested and charged with filing a false police report.
While Sara Seweid wrote on Facebook that she “is not excusing what my sister did,” she went on a lengthy diatribe in which she did just that. Seweid blamed the media for covering the story and blamed NYPD for investigating the hate crime claim.
“The NYPD should have never been involved in the first place even if the incident did happen,” wrote Seweid, who has a “Deport Trump” bumper sticker posted on her Facebook account.
“It became super clear to me these past two week [sic] that the police’s first instinct is to doubt your story and try to disprove it.”
Police reportedly began to question Seweid’s claims after they could find no witnesses to corroborate her story. Suspicion increased after she disappeared for two days late last week. She was later found safe at a friend’s house.
“The NYPD doesn’t care about us or our safety. Never did,” Sara Seweid wrote on Facebook.
She also complained that reporters followed up on the story.
“Things snowballed out of our control because of the media because by the next morning the news had started publishing stories. Reporters made things so much worse for my family,” Seweid wrote.
She went on to suggest that the public should sympathize with Muslim women who fabricate tales of harassment.
“I’m deeply concerned about the mental state of young Muslim women who feel that they have to lie so intensely to survive,” she wrote.
“I know this isn’t the first time something like this happens so I really think people who are so concerned about how Muslims will be perceived in the media or how future hate crimes will be dealt with need to take a step back and think why muslim [women of color] have felt the need to do this. Its [sic] not for attention.”