Updated 08/20/2012 11:09 PM
Raw Bacon Found At Site For S.I. Muslim Event Investigated As Hate Crime
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Police were investigating Monday an incident that could be a hate crime targeting Staten Island Muslims.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said three packages of raw bacon was found on a football field in New Dorp Beach park on Sunday morning, just before a ceremony marking Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, was set to take place there.
The Koran prohibits observant Muslims from eating or pork products.
Kelly also said two derogatory comments were found on a website associated with the event.
One comment reads, "I am going to walk my pet pig and I am gonna let him take a nice, fat dump ....just in time for morning prayers," and another reads, "They should send in an assault team and rid Staten Island of all the Muslim terrorists."
The NYPD was working Monday to find the people responsible.
"The statement came from someone who identified himself as '007 Midland.' And obviously we are conducting an investigation to see who put the message on the website," Kelly said.
By Monday night, there was still some raw bacon remaining on the New Dorp field.
Local Muslims were disturbed by the attempt to wreck their religious observance and the online threats. They cited the deadly shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin earlier this month as reason to take the incident seriously.
Like Sikhs, the Muslim New Yorkers wanted to share that they also stand for peace.
"To have someone doing that over there, I didn't feel comfortable. Especially we have so many children, the crowd was over 1,500," said Waleed Elzayat, the director of the Staten Island Muslim American Society Community Center. "We have the same rights as everybody else. We're not from Mars or another planet, we are American citizens. We serve our country like everybody else."
"This is one of the many results of scapegoating entire communities, not only muslims but Sikhs," said Islamic Civic Association of Staten Island founder Hesham El-Meligy.
Neighborhood Muslims told NY1 that the FBI was also investigating the incident.