A New York mosque that had an unknown person leave a painting of Jesus on their property called in police to investigate the action as a potential hate crime.
Hillside Islamic Center of New Hyde Park said a painting of a crucified Jesus Christ was left on the property fence early Friday morning. Abdul Aziz Bhuiyan, chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Hillside Islamic Center, told The Christian Post that whoever hung the painting on their property "did not have good intention."
"He showed disrespect and violated our place of worship," said Bhuiyan, who noted that this was the first time that something like this had happened at the Islamic Center.
"He also violated and disrespected Jesus as prophet and his message. Therefore, we want police to investigate and apprehend this person."
Bhuiyan also told CP that the person should have visited them during regular hours and learned about what they believe about Jesus, as they "firmly believe that the message of love and peace is conveyed through direct engagement with each other."
"Allah Almighty dedicated an entire chapter in the Holy Quran about Prophet Jesus and his mother Mary," added Bhuiyan.
"It is one of the six articles of faith in Islam to believe in the prophethood of the messengers. Denial of any of the articles of faith leads to deliberate unbelief. Muslims do not believe nor do we have the image of any prophets including prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)."
In Islam, Jesus Christ is recognized as being a prophet of God, but not the Son of God. Further, the Quran denies that Jesus was crucified.
"And [for] their saying, 'Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.' And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain," reads Surah 4:157.
According to local media, the placing of the painting on the Islamic Center's property is being investigated by Nassau County officials as a bias incident.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has also weighed in on the matter, with the group's New York chapter noting in a statement released Monday that the incident "is being investigated as a possible hate crime."
"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, peace be upon him," stated CAIR of New York.