By Staff writer
New York City police appeal for information on culprit in alleged hate crime
A man set fire to a Muslim woman’s hijab as she shopped in New York on Saturday, US media reported.
The 35-year-old victim was standing outside an expensive boutique on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue when she realised the sleeve of her traditional dress was alight.
She reportedly patted out the flames and saw a man standing with a lighter in his hand as she looked up.
The man then casually walked off down a side street, leaving the woman with a “quarter-sized hole” in her hijab, local media reported.
New York City Police Department (NYPD) released a video of the man they believe is the culprit in the suspected hate crime.
It shows the suspect wearing a backward baseball cap, black tank top and black trousers, sauntering off along a sidewalk and swinging his arms as he goes.
Police have yet to make an arrest, it was reported, and no suspects have been identified.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced a $1,000 reward on Tuesday for information leading to an arrest.
It said the incident was the latest in a series of recent attacks on Muslims in New York in recent months. Last Thursday, for example, a Brooklyn woman allegedly beat two Muslim mothers as they pushed their toddlers in strollers down a busy sidewalk.
“We are clearly seeing a spike in attacks on individual Muslims and Islamic institutions in New York and around the country, which should be of concern to all Americans,” Afaf Nasher, director of the CAIR’s New York chapter, said in a video posted on the organisation’s website and social media.
“It is time for the mayor and the NYPD to put forward the necessary resources to investigate and prevent these attacks on the Muslim community.”