Michigan student wearing hijab claims man threatened to set her on fire

Posted at 5:46 PM, Nov 12, 2016

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Police are investigating a report that a man threatened to set a University of Michigan Muslim student on fire with a lighter if she didn’t remove her hijab.

The incident near the University of Michigan campus happened Friday evening, according to a crime alert issued by the university.

A hijab is a headscarf worn by some Muslim women. The crime alert said the woman took off her hijab and left the area.

“The department is investigating it actively … and soliciting information from anyone who may have witnessed anything,” Ann Arbor police Sgt. Patrick Maguire told The Associated Press Saturday.

The man is described as white, between 20 and 30 years old with an average height and athletic build. He also had “bad body odor,” and “unkempt appearance” and was “intoxicated with slurred speech,” according to the crime alert.

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called Saturday for the incident to be investigated as a hate crime, saying the “alleged attack is just the latest anti-Muslim incident reported since the election of Donald Trump as president.”

There have been a spate of reports of threats, intimidation and racially charged violence around the country since Tuesday’s presidential election in which the Republican Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“Our nation’s leaders, and particularly President-elect Donald Trump, need to speak out forcefully against the wave of anti-Muslim incidents sweeping the country after Tuesday’s election,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.