Muslim woman's clothes set on fire: NYPD

- A woman wearing traditional Muslim clothing has told police that a man lit her blouse on fire in midtown Manhattan.

It happened at about 9 p.m. Saturday in front of the Valentino store on Fifth Avenue near 55th Street.

Police say the 35-year-old tourist told them she felt heat on her arm 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 walks away along East 54th St.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident as a possible bias crime.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement about the incident:

"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. 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."

There have been no arrests. The woman refused medical attention at the scene.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers at any of the following:

1-800-577-TIPS (8477)

WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

The NYPD says all calls/texts are strictly confidential.

On Thursday, a New York City woman was arrested after police say she assaulted two Muslim women pushing their young children in strollers in Brooklyn. Prosecutors have described the incident as a hate crime.

With the Associated Press

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