Muslims gathering to celebrate the end of Ramadan at a New York City park found uncooked bacon scattered across the prayer site and police are now investigating it as a possible hate crime.
Organizers found the bacon at John D’Amto Field in Staten Island where 1,500 people gathered Sunday for Eid-ul-Fitr, the holiday to mark the end of the month of fasting.
Three packages of raw meat were found strewn across the field as well as a note that referenced troubling posts on a website.
The people who gathered for the celebration were not told about the bacon, organizers said, and it went off without further incident.
New York Police Department investigators believe the same person might be behind an anti-Muslim Internet posting, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Monday.
DNAInfo reports that comments on an August 17 preview story for the event were directed at the gathering, the most important holiday on the Muslim calendar.
‘On a website associated with this celebration were some derogatory comments,’ said Commissioner Kelly.
‘We are attempting to locate the individual who made the comments on the website.’
In a statement, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations cited a report that the posting read in part, ‘I am going to walk my pet pig and i am gonna let him (defecate) ….just in time for morning prayers.’
The suspect used the name Midland007 and also said:’They should send in a assault team and rid Staten island of all the muslim terrorists.’
The council said pork is often used to offend or taunt Muslims, who are barred from eating it because pigs are considered unclean.
Local politicians were quick to condemn the act.
‘What’s to say? It’s an act of sheer stupidity. I just wonder how miserable of a life you must have to act with behavior like this,’ Councilman James Oddo said to the Staten Island Advance.
‘There are some people on Staten Island who are losing the fight to be human. And it’s an awful reality, and it stinks, but it’s true.’