NY mosque explosion leads to hate crime investigation

Long Island mosque attendees thought the explosion was due to fireworks from 4th of July celebrations

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Hate crimes officers are investigating after an incendiary device exploded outside a mosque on Long Island, damaging a metallic crescent moon that is a symbol of Islam.

A device similar to a Molotov cocktail exploded around midnight Sunday at the Masjid Fatima Al-Zahra mosque in Ronkonkoma, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison told Newsday. No one was injured, and the only reported damage was to the silvery crescent outside the facility.

Imam Ahmed Ibrahim said he was inside the mosque after performing prayers when he heard an explosion and thought it was Fourth of July fireworks. But when he looked outside, Ibrahim said, he saw the crescent on fire and "people coming from the street, trying to put out the flames with dirt."

WASHINGTON STATE CATHOLIC CHURCH VANDALIZED WITH GRAFFITI IN SUSPECTED HATE CRIME: ‘WOMAN HATERS’

No one was injured, but the imam said the damage to a symbol that is analogous to a Christian cross left him feeling hurt. "We are so peaceful here," Ibrahim told Newsday. "We have good relations with everybody, good relations with the neighbors, good relations with other religions."

A mosque in Long Island experienced a hate crime over the holiday weekend.

A mosque in Long Island experienced a hate crime over the holiday weekend. (Fox News)

Harrison said his department's arson and hate crimes units are investigating the attack. He said officers are scouring social media to see if anyone is chatting online about the incident.

FLORIDA MEN CHARGED WITH FEDERAL HATE CRIMES IN VIOLENT ATTACK OF BLACK MAN

"A hate crime towards the Islamic Muslim community is a hate crime toward all Suffolk County residents," Harrison said at the mosque on Tuesday. "This is something that everybody should be angry about."