A woman wearing traditional Muslim clothing has told police that a man lit her blouse on fire in New York City.
Police say the 35-year-old tourist from Scotland told them she felt heat on her arm Saturday night in midtown Manhattan and noticed her blouse was on fire. She said she patted out the fire and noticed a man standing nearby holding a lighter. She said the man then walked away.
Police said they were investigating the incident, which occurred the day before the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, as a hate crime.
The 35-year-old woman was standing outside a luxury clothing boutique on Park Avenue on Saturday evening when she felt her left arm suddenly heat up and noticed her blouse was on fire, city police said in a statement.
There have been no arrests.
On Tuesday, police released video surveillance footage of the suspect, a slim young-looking man wearing a backwards baseball cap walking down a sidewalk. No arrests have been made.
The Council on Islamic American Relations has condemned the incident, which it said followed an increasing number of attacks targeting Muslims in the United States.
"We are clearly seeing a spike in attacks on individual Muslims and Islamic institutions in New York and around the country," the Muslim advocacy group said in a statement on Monday. "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."
Last month, a man killed a Muslim cleric and his associate on the street as they left a mosque in borough of Queens.
Last week, a New York City woman was arrested after she assaulted two Muslim women pushing their children in strollers in Brooklyn. Prosecutors have described the attack as a hate crime.
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