Police Release Video of Suspect in Midtown Attack of Muslim Woman
New York City police have released a video showing a man believed to be responsible for setting a Muslim woman’s clothes on fire.
Nemariq Alhinai, 35, was outside of the luxury boutique Valentino at around 9 p.m. on Sept. 10 when she began to feel a warm sensation on the left side of her arm. It was then she realized her blouse was on fire and quickly extinguished the flames.
She said a man holding a lighter was standing nearby, who then walked off, heading towards East 54th Street. The surveillance footage released on Sept. 13 shows the man wearing a black hat, black tank top, black pants, and black shoes peering over his shoulder as he flees the scene.
Alhinai refused medical attention.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident.
In a statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it has condemned the attack and asked that Mayor Bill De Blasio invest in resources towards hate crime investigations.
“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 CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher in a statement. “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.”
This recent attack comes days after two women in traditional Muslim garb were attacked in Brooklyn.
Emirjeta Xhelili, 32, allegedly tried to forcefully remove the hijab from the women’s heads as they pushed their babies’ strollers on Sept. 8, reported the New York Post.
“Get the [expletive] out of America [expletive], you don’t belong here!” she said, according to prosecutors.”This is the United States of America, you’re not supposed to be different from us.”
Xhelili was charged with two counts each of felony assault as a hate crime and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Xhelili is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 14.
Anyone with information in the Alhinai case is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text “tips” to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.