BREAKING: Muslim Woman Set On Fire While Shopping On 5th Avenue In NYC (DETAILS)


A 36-year-old Scottish woman dressed in traditional Muslim clothing was set on fire in New York City, the NY Daily News reports.

The woman, identified by the New York Post as Nemariq Alhinai, was shopping on 5th Avenue just after 9 p.m. when the suspect pulled out a lighter and set her blouse on fire. She saw the suspect pull out the lighter, but they did not say anything and ran away immediately after. Alhinai did not realize she was on fire until she felt the heat on her arm.

Fortunately, Alhinai was able to put out the fire quickly and was not injured.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is trying to determine if this attack was motivated by bias toward Muslims.

The treatment and skewed perception of Muslims by many Americans is enough of a reason to investigate this incident. However, the date is also noteworthy in this situation, as it occurred shortly before the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Ibrahim Hooper, who is a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is concerned about the incident and feels it is important for an investigation to be conducted. He told the NY Daily News:

‘I would obviously be concerned because it’s symptomatic of the overall rise in Islamophobic sentiment in our society. That’s based on the spike across the country in hate crimes and hate incidents, in recent days and over the past year.’

An employee at Savitt, one of the stores on 5th Avenue, was shocked by the incident.

“It’s crazy,” the employee told the Daily News. “It’s always crowded around here. Even at night time, it’s busy.”

Several people have reacted to the incident on Twitter, sharing their outrage and frustration over the often blatant Islamophobia that so many Muslims deal with as part of their daily lives.

In addition to the attack on Alhinai, two other Muslim women were attacked in New York last week. Last Thursday, a 32-year-old woman named Emirjeta Xhelili punched two young Muslim mothers who were pushing babies in strollers and tried to pull the hijabs from their heads. Xhelili was charged with misdemeanor assault as a hate crime and is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Featured image via Shinya Suzuki/Flickr, available under a Creative Commons license.