In an act the head of the Suffolk County Police’s Hate Crimes Unit called “puzzling,” vandals threw a glass jar filled with nails toward a Huntington mosque twice in the past week. On Monday and last Wednesday, an unknown person drove by and targeted the driveway of the Masjid Noor on Park Avenue.
Noting the controversy over the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero, Detective Sgt. Robert Reecks said the larger climate was “not conducive” to mosques, but stressed there were no previous reported incidents or community issues. “I’m not ruling out anything,” he said.
The vandalism comes as other mosque development projects have been stalling elsewhere. The Islamic Association of Long Island in Selden will bring their expansion plans before the Brookhaven Town Planning Board for the third time next month. They want to expand their building from 5,600 square feet to 8,000 square feet for their 300 weekly worshipers.
While Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko said parking and traffic were the major issues, Tahir Qureshi, chairman of the mosque’s board of trustees, suggested some citizens may be using that as cover for anti-Muslim sentiment.
“The project is basically in compliance with the town code,” Qureshi said, noting the site was already “surrounded by gas stations and shopping centers.”