Ramadan And Bacon Don't Mix. But A Hate Crime?
Police are investigating pieces of bacon being strewn about John D'Amato Field on New Dorp Lane on Staten Island over the weekend, where about 1,500 Muslims gathered Sunday morning to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
According to the Koran, "He has made unlawful for you that which dies of itself (caracas) and blood and the flesh of swine and that on which the name of any other than Allah has been invoked. But he who is driven by necessity, being neither disobedient nor exceeding the limit, then surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful."
In other words, Muslims don't dig on swine.
Police are investigating the bacon-ing as a hate crime because of its obvious religious implications -- it seems like a bit of a stretch that a field is littered with bacon the very day Muslims are planning to worship there.
Hate crimes are no joke -- the penalties for a crime increase significantly when the "hate" component" is added. But is throwing bacon in a field really a hate crime?
The "hate" part can't really be disputed -- again, it's probably not a coincidence that bacon ended up scattered all over a field where Muslims planned to worship. But is throwing bacon on a field a "criminal" act?
New York penal law defines hate crimes as "criminal acts involving violence, intimidation and destruction of property based upon bias and prejudice."
"Criminal acts" is the tricky part -- dropping bacon in a field, essentially, is littering, which in most cases is a violation, not a crime. It could be viewed as "intimidating," but the law says the "intimidating" behavior must be a "criminal act" for it to qualify as a hate crime.
However, some creative prosecution could up the violation to a misdemeanor when classified as "criminal mischief," which is defined as when a person "intentionally damages property of another person."
In this case, however, the property that was "damaged" belongs to the city, not a private individual.
Regardless of whether it's a hate crime, if you dump bacon in a field you know is going to be used by Muslims to worship, you're an asshole. You're no better than the scumbags who spray-paint swastikas on Jewish temples, so knock it off. Then jump in front of a bus.
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