A Muslim woman was set on fire last Saturday, just hours before the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11.
According to sources, at 9 P.M. on Saturday, Scottish tourist Nemariq Alhinai was walking in front of Valentino’s Department store when she felt a warm sensation on her left arm. She looked down to find that the arm of her blouse was on fire.
Fortunately, Alhinai was able to pat out the flames. When she looked up, she saw an unknown man standing next to her with a lighter out in his hand, according to a police source.
“She saw (the suspect) pull a lighter away and walk away,” the source said. “He doesn’t say anything.”
The man walked away on East 54th street. He was last seen wearing a black tank top, shorts, and backwards hat. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force are still searching for the suspect, as well as trying to determine if the attack was motivated by bias towards her being Muslim, law enforcement sources said.
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, urged for a full investigation to take place. “I would obviously be concerned because its symptomatic of the overall rise in Islamophobic sentiment in our society.”
Building up to 9/11, there have been an increase in hate crimes geared towards the Muslim community. In Orlando, someone set fire to the mosque once attended by Pulse Nightclub shooter Omar Mateen.
In the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bath Beach, Emirjeta Xhelili attacked to Mulism women wearing hijabs, along with their eleven-month and fifteen-month old children they were pushing in strollers. Police say Xhelili tried to rip off their hijabs before hitting them in the face, pushing one stroller, and rattling the other, CNN reported. She allegedly shouted “Get the f*ck out of America, b*tches, you don’t belong here!” According to a criminal complaint filed by the Brooklyn district attorney, she also said “This is the United States of America, you’re not supposed to be different from us.”
Huffpost has recorded more than 230 acts of violence, discrimination, and political speech this year, with at least than 20 incidents occurring during the month of Ramadan.