A Scottish woman wearing a hijab was set on fire while shopping on a busy street in New York, according to police in the US.
The 35-year-old Muslim woman, named by American media outlets as Nemariq Alhinai from Glasgow, had her clothes set alight by a man with a lighter on the city’s Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the New York City Police Department said.
Alhinai saw that her blouse was on fire before patting out the flames. When she looked up, police said, she noticed a man with a lighter in his hand.
The Scot was uninjured in the incident, which took place on Saturday evening, but police are investigating the alleged assault as a hate crime.
Christopher Pisano, a spokesman for the NYPD told the Washington Post the man disappeared down a street without saying anything. Alhinai was left with a “quarter sized hole” in her clothes.
It is understood she was on holiday in the city at the time and works as a dentist in Scotland.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the incident was part of an alarming pattern of attacks on Muslims and Islamic sites in recent months.
“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.”