Authorities were investigating as a possible hate crime the discovery of uncooked bacon scattered on the grounds of a New York City park where Muslims gathered to celebrate the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, police said on Monday.


Festivities to mark the close of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, on Sunday had been publicized in local media and drew 1,500 participants to New Dorp Beach Park on Staten Island, said Cyrus McGoldrick, spokesman for the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.


Organizers found uncooked bacon strewn about a small section of the park, New York City police said.


Religious restrictions prohibit Muslims from eating pork products.


"It's being investigated as a possible bias crime," a police spokeswoman said.


The incident was the latest in a spate of anti-Islamic sentiment in recent weeks. Earlier this month, a mysterious fire burned a mosque in Missouri, while in another instance a soda bottle filled with chemicals was thrown at a private Islamic school outside of Chicago.

In the southern California city of Chino on August 7, pig legs were thrown onto the site of a proposed mosque that has been a target of controversy.

"It's anti-Islamic sentiment — a sign they don't want us to feel welcome," McGoldrick said.