Muslim woman set on fire on New York’s Fifth Avenue in possible hate crime, police say

A Muslim woman wearing traditional garments had her clothes set on fire by a man with a lighter as she shopped on a crowded New York City street over the weekend, police said.
The 35-year-old was dressed in a hijab and standing outside a Valentino store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Saturday night when she felt heat on her left side, according to the New York City Police Department.
The woman, who has not been identified, saw that her blouse was on fire and patted out the flames. When she looked up, she noticed a man standing with a lighter in his hand, police said.
Police are investigating the alleged assault as a hate crime.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the incident fit an alarming pattern of attacks on Muslims and Islamic sites in recent months.
“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,” said Afaf Nasher, director of the group’s New York chapter, in a statement posted on Facebook. “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.”

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