A Brooklyn mosque was vandalized with the words “Death 2 Palestine” early Thursday morning, during the Eid-al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.
At about 6:45am, officers responded to a 911 call at the Tayba Islamic Center at 2165 Coney Island Avenue, NYPD spokesperson Detective Annette Shelton said. Upon arrival, they were informed that an unknown individual had spray painted the phrase near the front door of the mosque.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident.
Eid al-Fitr, one of the holiest days of the Muslim calendar, began Wednesday evening in New York. The holiday marks the end of the month-long daily fasting that is part of observing Ramadan.
Imran Khan, a Midwood resident who worships at Tayba, said he saw the vandalism early this morning on his way to pray.
“It was truly heartbreaking,” he told Bklyner. “We are supposed to end Ramadan on a good and happy note but that was taken away from us this morning. Anything happening thousands of miles away should not affect us here in Brooklyn.”
“We are united, we are taught to respect everyone and we as a community expect the same,” he continued. “I’m glad the NYPD is looking into it and I hope the perpetrator is caught and charged with the hate crime that was committed.”
The attack also attracted the attention of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who called it “an attack on all New Yorkers.”
Mosque leadership could not immediately be reached for comment.
The fighting in the region has become an issue in the mayor’s race; Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a leading contender, lost the endorsement of the Muslim Action Network coalition after issuing a statement that did not condemn an Israeli police incursion on the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Another leading candidate, Andrew Yang, was on the receiving end of criticism from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives for his own pro-Israel statement.
On Wednesday, the City Council approved legislation that would increase the penalty for vandalising houses of worship from $500 to $1,000. The move comes after weeks after a vandal used stones to break windows at several Bronx synagogues.