At least five bank robberies and one homicide committed by men dressed as women wearing Muslim headscarves prompted the Majlis Ash Shura, which represents Philadelphia-area Muslim congregations, to join forces with local officials in an effort to find the perpetrators, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
"Philadelphia is a unique city in that Islam is not new here," Aliya Khabir, a public relations official representing the national United Muslim Masajid, said at a Tuesday news conference. "It's up to us to set the tone for how this is addressed."
Five bank holdups have taken place since December, the most recent being a robbery of the Wells Fargo branch in the 700 block of Adams Avenue, the newspaper said.
Michael Turner, 35, was shot and killed April 18 when a suspect wearing a loose dress and headscarf opened fire in an Upper Darby barber shop. Sharif Wynn, 27, of Philadelphia, was taken into custody as a suspect.
"We are seeing cowards dressed in the outer garb of Muslim women," District Attorney Seth Williams said. "We will do all that we can to make sure [Muslim] women aren't degraded in this way."