On Friday, an unknown person or persons placed a painting depicting Jesus Christ on a fence near a mosque on the northern end of Long Island. New York police are looking into it as a possible bias incident. The Hillside Islamic Center in North New Hyde Park, Nassau County, contacted police when the painting was found. The painting depicts Jesus Christ crucified.
A member of the Muslim congregation, Eydid Ali, told an affiliate of The CW, “As a Muslim, I love Jesus. We are told to love Jesus.” Ali added, “He actually is a prophet of ours. And a lot of people don’t know this but he’s also our messiah. We have no problem that they left that. The only thing is we don’t believe there should be drawings of certain religious figures. That’s the only thing that was wrong with it,” he said.
Jesus Christ, in Muslim thinking, is not the Son of God, as is believed by Christians. Muslims believe that while Jesus was indeed crucified, he did not die on the cross but was substituted with another. In addition, Muslims do not believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
According to a statement by the New York chapter of The Council on American-Islamic Relations, "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." The organization called on the perpetrator to come to the mosque to receive religious instruction.
According to a story about the incident by WPIX television news, “Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS.”