Spring Valley, Nev., mosque worshippers headed to early morning prayers last Sunday arrived to an unwelcome surprise: Raw bacon was threaded through the handles of the building's doors. Local police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, because Islam considers any type of pork to be "haram," or forbidden, to touch or eat.
Footage from the Masjid-e-Tawheed mosque's security cameras showed a white man wearing a baseball cap and glasses placing the meat at 3:17 a.m., reports Las Vegas Sun. Three of the mosque's doors were wrapped with bacon and the meat's packaging.
The consumption and handling of pork are forbidden according to the Quran, the holy scriptures of Islam. There are few ways of interpreting the bacon at the Masjid-e-Tawheed mosque except as an attack, albeit a passive aggressive one, on the local Muslim community, writes Patrick Hogan on Fusion.
It is unclear how the perpetrator arrived at the mosque in Spring Valley, a town two miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
Founding member of the mosque, Rokai Yusufzai, told KSNV 3LV News he hoped the intruder "in his conscience, in his heart" feels ashamed of what he did.
"What if one of us came early to do some prayer and he met this person face to face, what will happen? Maybe he could be armed," said Ismaeel Almughrabe.
However, Almughrabe shared a peaceful message for the man who defaced his place of worship: "Invite him to our community, to talk to him, about our deen, our Islam our religion. We are peaceful people."
Armando Rios on Facebook said he could not believe what had happened. "This is horrible. I will be dropping off a gift basket to this mosque apologizing on behalf of the ignorant people in this city who did this. And they should know that they are welcome here and free to practice their religion."
Randy Westfaal said on Facebook he believes this incident is little more than littering or vandalism. "The Muslims have created the image, and they are the ones that will have to clean up the image. All they are waiting for is to get the numbers so they can start their Jihad here. Look at Europe, Look at Dearborn, Michigan. These people cry foul at the drop of a hat.
"It is bacon, put on latex gloves, throw it away, and wipe the door knobs with Clorox."
The Council for American-Islamic Relations condemned the attack in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and called for it to be investigated by state and local authorities as a hate crime.
The Las Vegas mosque was the third American Islamic Center over the holiday weekend to be desecrated in some way, reports Fusion, with a Houston-area mosque falling victim to an arson attack and a Central California mosque having a molotov cocktail detonated outside it.