UPDATE: On Jan. 27, Ahmed posted to Twitter an image of a letter from the Portland Housing Authority confirming that a subcontractor of the PHA admitted to making comments consistent with her tweets. According to the PHA, the employee will no longer work on PHA properties.
A Portland area Black Lives Matter activist said two city of Portland employees screamed anti-Muslim obscenities so loudly outside her home on Monday morning that it woke her up.
Activist Hamdia Ahmed posted several tweets Monday morning accusing two men she said were city employees of screaming obscene tirades anti-Muslim, and she included a picture of the two alleged culprits.
“This morning, two white men who blew snow for the city of Portland came into our neighborhood,” she wrote.
“One of them started screaming ‘f*****g Muslims.’ It woke us up. I want to [confront] them right now. Another man told me ‘move you are on citu construction.’ I told him to stfu,” she wrote.
Portland officials publicly denied that the two men in the picture were city employees, and the Maine Wire has not been able to identify them.
Although Ahmed acknowledged the city’s denial, she has not removed or clarified her tweets.
In a second tweet, Ahmed included a picture of the two men she said made the offensive remarks.
“Hi @CityPortland, These two white men work for you,” she wrote. “This morning, the one with the black vest was screaming “I can’t believe you have to clean these f*****g Muslims cars” to the man in the brown sweater.”
The posts has received more than 20k views on the social media site.
In a separate post, Ahmed alleged someone operating a snowblower in her vicinity threatened her.
“Another driver of a snow blower told me to ‘move’ and make threatening gestures,” she wrote.
The image Ahmed posted appears to be a screen capture of a longer video taken by a mobile phone.
Ahmed did not respond to a tweet asking her why she did not post the video.
This is not the first time Ahmed has has posted to social media about facing anti-Muslim or racist bigotry in Portland.
Aidan Kearney, founder of the popular news blog out of Massachusetts, TB Daily News, has covered Ahmed’s previous allegations against Portland area coffee shops, police officers, and hospitals.
In 2018, Ahmed alleged she was discriminated against because of her religion by a Starbucks employee in Portland.
Ahmed told News Center Maine a Starbucks barista laughed when she asked whether the vanilla extract the company uses has alcohol in it.
In 2019, she alleged in a Facebook post that a Dunkin Donuts employee had verbally attacked her for speaking a language other than English at the drive thru.
Though she posted video of the Dunkin Donuts worker on Facebook, the video did not show any harassment.
Ahmed, who describes herself as a Black Lives Matter activist, has had considerable success raising money to support her activism and other charitable work.
Following the police killing of George Floyd in May of 2020, Ahmed raised nearly $40k through a pair of Go Fund Me campaigns.
In June 2020, Ahmed alleged in a series of viral tweets that her mother, Mumina Ali, was the victim of police brutality during an arrest in 2014 at Maine Medical Center.
Ali was arrested by Portland Detective Jeffrey Druan and later alleged that Druan was acting on racial animus and had violated her rights.
An internal investigation cleared Druan of any wrongdoing, but as outrage swept the country in the wake of the police killing of Floyd, Ahmed began posting incendiary claims against Druan stemming from the arrest.
In a series of viral tweets that received more than 12k retweets and hundreds of thousands of views, Ahmed accused Druan of assaulting her mother, placing her in a chokehold, and stuffing a sock in her mouth.
According to Ahmed, Druan assaulted her mother because she had asked for a translator.
Responding to a Twitter user who had brought up Druan’s wife, Ahmed said of Druan, “He is a abuser.”
When the story about Ali began receiving attention, Ahmed started a Go Fund Me to cover her mother’s legal fees, hire experts, and “get justice.”
That Go Fund Me raised campaign more than $21k, and Ahmed was listed as the sole beneficiary.
In the description of the Go Fund Me, Ahmed wrote that Druan threw her mother to the ground, then got on top of her, placing his knee on her neck — almost exactly what video showed had happened to Floyd two months earlier.
Ahmed said in the description that her mother was permanently disabled by the alleged police brutality.
Portland officials, facing tremendous public pressure, caused the Portland Police Department to reopen the investigation based on Ahmed’s allegations.
Shortly after Ahmed raised money for attorney’s fees through Go Fund Me, Ali filed a federal lawsuit against two Portland police officers, the former Portland police chief, and Maine Medical Center.
An attorney for the city denied Ali’s claims.
Less than two months after Ali and the city had agreed to a schedule for discovery, in Dec. 2020, the parties agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, which meant Ali could not file suit again.
Ali’s lawyer did not explain the outcome to the Portland newspaper, and Ahmed wasn’t available to comment for their story on the lawsuit’s dismissal.
By the time the lawsuit was dismissed, Ahmed had already raised more than $18k through a separate Aug. 2020 Go Fund Me, this one to fund the activities of Black Lives Matter Maine.
“The funds will be dispersed across several different pathways, including, but not limited to: donations to affiliated organizations or non-profits supported by the global #BlackLivesMatter movement, mental health for Black youth across Maine, stipends for organizers, protest equipment, masks,” the Go Fund Me post said.
Ahmed said that although the money from the Go Fund Me was going to transfer directly to her, this was only because Go Fund Me required a beneficiary and that she would immediately transfer the balance to the BLM Maine bank account.
Ahmed has achieved a considerably level of notoriety through her activism, including earning a chance to throw out the first pitch at a Boston Red Sox game.
She also has used her large social media following to support other people people who have fallen on hard times, regularly volunteering to accept donations to her Venmo and pass the proceeds along to other refugees.