Muslim groups are joining with Philadelphia officials to offer a $20,000 reward.
They want to catch criminals who are donning veils or other clothing associated with that faith to evade detection.
Imam Isa Abdul Hakeem, Secretary of the Majis ash Shura of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley says criminals need to get the message that they can’t don female Muslim dress to avoid getting caught.
“Robbery and murder are abhorrent to the Islamic way of life,” said Abdul Hakeem. “When criminals disguise themselves as Muslim women they put our women in danger of being stereotyped, victimized and ostracized by society. We regard this act is discriminatory, and regard it as a hate crime towards Muslims.”
District Attorney Seth Williams says the most recent crimes, which include a murder in Upper Darby and a bank robbery on Adams Avenue will be prosecuted once suspects are found.
“I am very proud to stand here with you to do all that we can to prevent this crime to do all that we can to make insure that women aren’t degraded this way by having cowards and criminals dress in their garb,” said Williams.
Councilman Curtis Jones worries that muslim women will be ostracized because of actions by criminals.