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What happens when the hate crime occurs in our own national backyard? We look like hypocrites, that’s what.

We criticize the rest of the world for its brutality, but what about the ethnocentric atrocities that happen in our own backyard?

Shortly after 9 p.m. on September 10, a traditionally dressed Muslim woman was set on fire in the middle of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Standing outside of the Valentino store, the unnamed woman had her blouse lit on fire by the suspect. Fortunately, the 35-year-old Scottish Muslim woman was able to put the fire out quickly without harming herself.

She noticed the person casually standing near her with the lighter in his hand. Silently, the suspect walked away from his victim without saying a word.

The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the attack to see if it was motivated by Islamophobia.

Related: Muslim Woman Challenges Family Dollar After Being Thrown Out Of Indiana Store

The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced a $1,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

Sadly, there has been an increase in anti-Muslim crimes over the last few months and crimes against Muslims often spike around the universally painful anniversary of 9/11. These small acts of homegrown terrorism often go unpublicized.

“It is important that the perpetrators of these crimes be apprehended and their motives be established,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “The spike in incidents targeting American Muslims and their institutions is the inevitable result of the ongoing mainstreaming of Islamophobia we are witnessing in our society.”

h/t Mic and video via CBS New York.


Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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