The problem with rushing to judgment in order to promote a political stance and paint the opposition as unreasonable, bigoted and even evil, is that reality may not bear out the wisdom of the hasty choice.
And so it is with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer who just weeks ago was patting himself on the back for intervening in a visa dispute that allowed an Indian Muslim into the country to participate in the World Snowshoe Championship in his state.
Indian athlete, Tanveer Hussain, claimed the temporary travel ban imposed by President Trump’s Executive Order of February 27 had prevented him from entering the country to compete in the championships in Saranac Lake, New York, however Hussain and his coach were actually denied entry visas ten days before the EO was issued and already in the U.S. when the order went into effect.
In fact, India was not among the seven countries named in the order that limited travel into the U.S.
Still, Hussain had been denied a visa until Schumer’s office contacted the American Embassy in New Delhi, which then reversed its decision and granted the athlete entry.
Hussain and his coach, Abid Khan, were welcomed by residents with open arms, given free lodging, invited to give a speech about Kashmir at the local middle school and honored with a special reception by the mayor.
Sen. Schumer was quick to take credit for making the “fairy tale” as Hussain called it come true.
“The United States is “still a country that welcomes athletes from across the globe to compete in our stadiums, our snow-covered fields and everywhere in between,” Schumer said.
Unfortunately for the residents of the idyllic town, Hussain was not the innocent victim of Donald Trump’s harsh travel ban he claimed to be and within days of his arrival was arrested on felony charges of sexually abusing a minor child.
Police records allege that Hussain “engaged in a passionate kiss with a 12-year-old girl and there was touching in an “intimate area over the clothes.”
Police Chief Charles A. Potthast Jr. said the assault took place when Hussain was playing pool with some young people at the inn where he was staying.
“There was a moment when the two were alone, and that’s when the incident occurred,”Potthast said.
Hussain’s coach said the athlete told him that he did nothing wrong, attempting to explain the assault as an innocent difference in cultural behavior.
“In Kashmir, we have a tradition of showing love to children. We hug and kiss a child here, and our society doesn’t see it as a crime,” he said.
Muddasir Mir, the president of the SnowShoe Federation of India, who had said that the visas for the pair “would not have been issued without the personal efforts” of Schumer and New York’s other Democratic senator, Kirsten Gillibrand,” confirmed the arrest, expressing “full faith in the American law.”
Hussain is in custody with bond set at $10,000 bond.
A spokesman for Schumer said the senator helped with the visa process at the request of Saranac Lake and described the charges against Hussain as “extremely troubling.”
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