Last night a mosque in New York was hit by a firebomb in an arson spree that officials are still investigating. Mayor Bloomberg and New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo both expressed outrage that a Muslim Mosque was targeted in an apparent hate crime.
The Associated Press reports that the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation in Queens was hit by a Molotov cocktail on Sunday night. Two similar attacks occurred in the Muslim neighborhood.
Bloomberg said that the firebomb attacks “stand in stark contrast to the New York City of today that we’ve built together.”
New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo also said that the “reported attacks on Sunday night go against everything we stand for as New Yorkers and Americans.”
Bloomberg added that the NYPD was investigating the incident as a hate crime, but was also looking at the possible connection to other arson attacks that have been occurring recently in LA.
“Personnel from the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit and the 103rd Precinct’s Detective Squad are moving at full steam to investigate and also determine if there are any connections to incidents outside New York City.”
The Associated Press reports that in addition to the Mosque, which bills itself as the biggest international Shiite Muslim organization, a bodega with Muslim employees and the private residence of a Hindu priest were hit with similar firebombs.
Maan al Sahlani, the Imam Al-Khoei center’s acting imam, said that close to 100 people were inside the mosque when the firebomb hit the front door.
“We don’t find any reason to attack others. As human beings here, we have to love each other, we have to respect each other. It doesn’t matter the origin or what I believe or what you believe.”
Bloomberg has been a staunch supporter of the Muslim community and was one of the biggest supporters of the Ground Zero Mosque. But Bloomberg’s record with Muslims isn’t perfect. After it was revealed last week that the NYPD had surveillance teams in Muslim neighborhoods, several religious leaders wrote a letter to the Mayor and told him that they would be boycotting his interfaith breakfast.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit is currently investigating the New York firebomb attacks.