Reports of a Muslim woman in traditional Muslim attire being set on fire were met with justifiable shock and horror . . . and assumptions about the nature of the crime.

For example, The Guardian pondered the courage it takes “just going out” in traditional Islamic dress.  They followed this up with dire warnings, including:  “We are facing the most hostile environment since the immediate aftermath of 9/11. All Americans must speak out otherwise there will be worse to come.”

CAIR-NY weighed in with its own condemnation based on the assumption that this was a hate crime.


It turns out, however, that the perpetrators were equal opportunity arsonists, trying to set other woman on fire . . . not just those who appeared to be Muslim.

Reuters reports:

New York police investigating an attack in which a Muslim woman’s clothing was set alight are no longer probing the case as a hate crime after linking the suspects to similar assaults on non-Muslims, authorities said on Wednesday.

A man who was part of a group set fire to the 35-year-old woman’s traditional Islamic attire as she window shopped outside a luxury clothing store in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday, police said in a statement. The victim quickly patted out the flames and was unharmed.

Police said they initially believed the crime, committed a day before the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, may have been prompted by what the woman was wearing.

After further investigation, officers determined that at least three other women were threatened with fire by the same group of suspects on Tuesday, police said. Those women were not wearing Muslim clothing.


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