New York (IINA) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) called on a person or persons who left a painting of Jesus on the cross at a mosque in that state to learn what Muslims actually believe.
CAIR-NY said the painting was found Friday on a fence of the Hillside Islamic Center in North New Hyde Park. The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
In a statement seen by the International Islamic News Agency (IINA), CAIR-NY said: "Bias may have motivated this incident, but it could serve as a teaching moment for the perpetrator and for the community if it leads to greater understanding of the love Muslims have for Jesus (Allah may be pleased with him).
"The spiritual legacy of Jesus (Allah may be pleased with him) should be a unifying factor for Muslims and Christians, not a source of division or bigotry."
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR's national office has called for investigations of possible bias motives for dozens of other incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
CAIR is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety."
CAIR-NY recently released a report showing a 560 percent increase in 2016 anti-Muslim Incidents in New York compared to the previous year. The same report showed that more than half of 2016 anti-Muslim hate crimes in New York occurred in the last 7 and a half weeks of the year, following Donald Trump's election as president.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
Source: International Islamic News Agency