Footage released of suspect who lit Muslim woman’s blouse on fire in New York

New York Police Department have released a video of the prime suspect who lit a Scottish Muslim woman’s blouse on fire in a busy New York street.

New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Hate Crime Task Unit is investigating whether the attack was Islamophobic.

35-year-old Nemariq Al-Hinai, from Glasgow, was assaulted on Midtown Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue at 8.58pm on Saturday night.

Ms Al-Hinai, a dentist working in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire had her clothing set alight by a man with a lighter on the city’s Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the NYPD spokesperson said.

She is believed to have stepped off a tourist bus and felt some heat on her arm before noticing her blouse had been set on fire.

It is said she patted out the fire and noticed a man next to her with a lighter in his hand who then scurried down a side-street.

NYPD confirmed she was left with no injuries but her blouse was left with a hole.

NYPD are searching for this man.
NYPD are searching for this man. [SOURCE: DCPI]
The Hate Crime Task Unit is now investigating the attack.

As Ms Al-Hinai was wearing a hijab which would have clearly identified her as Muslim, there are concerns this may have been an Islamophobic attack.

Anyone with information about Saturday’s incident is urged to call CrimeStoppers on 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the incident is one of a concerning pattern of attacks on Muslims and Islamic centres in recent months.

A spokesman said: “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.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman urged anyone with information about the assault to contact the NYPD.

She stated: ‘This must have been a very frightening incident. The Scottish Government condemns all hate crime and hopes anyone with information about this assault contacts the NYPD.”

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