Police in New York are searching for a man who set a British Muslim’s hijab on fire outside a boutique store on bustling Fifth Avenue, Sky News reports.The 35-year-old woman, reportedly a dentist from Glasgow, was window shopping when she suddenly felt her shirt sleeve on fire.
CCTV footage has been released in an attempt to find the man involved, who was brandishing a lighter before he fled the scene. The NYPD is treating the incident as a potential hate crime, and has released CCTV which shows the suspect.
A spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said: “It’s another (piece of) evidence that Muslims are increasingly vulnerable in this political climate.”
Last month, an imam and his assistant were shot dead near their mosque in the New York borough of Queens, but an investigation has not determined whether it was an Islamophobic attack.
Nonetheless, New York mayor Bill de Blasio has since deployed additional police officers to secure mosques and reassure the city’s Muslim population.