Ex-State Dept. Official Ordered to Bias Training After Anti-Muslim Rant

A former State Department employee charged with a hate crime in November after he harassed a halal food vendor in Manhattan, calling him a “terrorist,” may have his charges dismissed if he completes a 26-week anti-bias course and fulfills other requirements, according to prosecutors.

At a court appearance Wednesday, Manhattan prosecutors said that if the man, Stuart Seldowitz, completed the program through the organization Queens Counseling for Change, had no new arrests and did not violate a protective order, they would ask that his charges be dropped. Mr. Seldowitz agreed, according to prosecutors.

Mr. Seldowitz, 65, has no other criminal history and prosecutors frequently refer people who have committed nonviolent, misdemeanor hate crimes for such training. In recent years, the Manhattan district attorney’s office has sent 10 cases to the Queens organization, according to a spokeswoman.

Afaf Nasher, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of New York, said in a statement on Thursday that “light punishments are a slap in the face to the victims.”

NYT > New York