The FBI is investigating an incident where bacon was found threaded around the doors of a Las Vegas mosque as a possible hate crime, KTNV, an ABC affiliate, reported Wednesday. The country has seen a spike in hate crimes following the attack in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 people dead earlier this month.
The incident at Masjid Tawheed is suspected to be an anti-Muslim attack since pork is forbidden to eat or touch under Islam. Surveillance video of the incident captured a man in a baseball cap and glasses stringing raw bacon on the doors and handles a little after 3 a.m. on Sunday.
"There are still people out there who love to hate, unfortunately, so this was one of the sad incidents and it's unfortunate," said Rokai Yusufzai, one of the founding members of the mosque, according to KTNV.
— Imraan Siddiqi (@imraansiddiqi) December 29, 2015
Some members of the mosque were more perplexed than angry.
“To us, it’s not as offensive as he might think,” Fayyaz Raja, vice president of the congregation, told the Las Vegas Sun. “According to our religion, yes, we can’t touch it, we can’t eat it. That I understand. But to me, it’s comical.”
Attacks against Muslims routinely rise in the U.S. after major terrorist attacks. Earlier this month, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino released a report indicating that hate crimes against Muslims had tripled since terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 and the San Bernardino shooting. Attacks against mosques were at their highest level in years, a report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations said.
— John A. Jenkins (@JenkinsAuthor) December 22, 2015
Some civil rights advocates say the backlash is being fueled by anti-Muslim rhetoric from the 2016 presidential campaign. Republican front-runner Donald Trump, for example, has called to ban Muslims from entering the country, as he and others have also called for greater scrutiny of mosques.