An unidentified man left a large painting of Jesus Christ outside a mosque in Long Island, New York, on Friday, July 7.
The Nassau County Police Department is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, according to MIC.com.
A spokesperson for the mosque, Abdul Aziz Bhuyian, told a local news outlet that CCTV footage showed the man dropping off the painting just after midnight.
According to Bhuyian, the man’s intention was to “provoke.” The New York Chapter of the Council of American Islamic Relations said in a statement that the incident could become a “teaching moment”.
Afaf Nasher, the Chapter’s executive director, said: “I spoke to the community center. While they don’t know what the intentions are of the person who did this, they are also looking at this as an opportunity for learning and that is the real focus now.”
This is because the man probably does not know that Jesus is one of the most highly regarded prophets in Islam, and as such, Muslims love him too.