A Scottish woman wearing traditional Islamic clothing on holiday in New York had the sleeve of her blouse set alight on Monday.
The incident happened outside an upmarket Fifth Avenue boutique, just hours before the ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
The victim was not badly hurt but her blouse was left smouldering and singed after the attack which took place about 9pm (EST) near E. 55 street.
She felt heat on her arm, a police source said, and realized her blouse had been set on fire.
“She saw [the suspect pull a lighter] and walk away”, the source said.
The attacker got away and the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is now trying to determine if the assault was motivated by a hatred of Muslims.
A full investigation has been called for by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said: “I would obviously be concerned because it’s symptomatic of the overall rise in Islamophobic sentiment in our society.”
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Last Thursday, a 32 year old woman in Brooklyn was charged with attacking two young Muslim mothers. The victims were punched in their faces and an attempt was made to tear their hijabs off their heads.