Student Threatened with Being Set on Fire for Wearing Hijab

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Picture courtesy: Simon, Project Fiver Islamophobia

A student of the University of Michigan was threatened by an unidentified man who said that he would set her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab, according to the police.  He also made references to her religion. The incident took place on Friday, outside the university campus in Ann Arbor. Police said the woman, who was not named, complied and left.

Diane Brown, public information officer for the university’s Division of Public Safety and Security, told The Washington Post,“We do consider this a hate crime”. The Ann Arbor Police Department is heading the investigation.

In a statement released on Saturday afternoon, the University’s public safety officials said they were “very concerned and disturbed” by the alleged hate crime.

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“Officers are conducting additional patrols in that area and the Ann Arbor police are actively investigating,” according to the statement.

A couple of witnesses described the stranger as a white unkempt muscular man in his late 20s, and of average height. Michigan Police also stated that the man reportedly seemed to be inebriated. The investigation comes amid several reports of hate crimes and harassment from across the country following Donald Trump’s win.  

 

A similar incident occurred in Georgia, where a Muslim high school teacher received a note which read that her “headscarf isn’t allowed anymore.” The note also told her to “tie” her headscarf around her neck and “hang yourself with it.”

A Muslim woman, her children and her elderly parents were threatened in Ohio by a man who allegedly approached the family’s car, pounded on the window and asked the woman to leave the country as she didn’t belong here while yelling racist remarks and obscenities. He also took pictures of her children.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 200 incidents have already been reported nationwide. A majority of the threats have been against Muslims, people of the LGBT community and African Americans The incidents were reported on the news, on social media and directly to the organization’s website. 

On the campaign trail  Donald Trump had pledged to prevent Muslims from entering the United States and send back those who were a threat to the nation. He later changed his statement saying he wanted to keep out immigrants from certain countries that have been “compromised by terrorism.”

But his modified stance is not very reassuring as reports of people from certain backgrounds being harassed or threatened continue to pour in. 

 

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, believes the surge in Islamophobia can be attributed to Donald Trump’s victory.