Somebody with an impish sense of humor wrapped bacon strips around three door handles of a Las Vegas mosque over the weekend.
The worshiper who found the stuff Sunday morning just threw it in the trash. And one mosque official even called the caper “comical.”
But the Hamas-friendly Council on American-Islamic Relations is demanding a federal and state hate crime investigation of the incident. The Las Vegas Police and FBI are both probing it that way.
And most news outlets, including Breitbart, are doubling as stenographers for CAIR’s latest attempt to exaggerate the degree of anti-Muslim bias in this country. But the reality is that the caper not by any stretch fall within the Nevada or federal law definitions of hate crimes. Both define hate crimes as inflicting bodily injury or harm on a person with discriminatory motives.
Yes, the perp was clearly bigoted. But, so are many of the people at CAIR and/or associated with the organization. Executive director Nihad Awad, has contended that Jews control American foreign policy. But nobody called for investigating Awad for hate crimes.
And just what crime was committed at the mosque anyway? It was not vandalized. There are no allegations of trespassing. The culprit or culprits did not enter the mosque.
Las Vegas defense attorney Michael Becker told the Washington Gadfly that authorities are ginning up a “sensational incident” to show they are determined to protect Mosques and Muslims from any conceivable harm.“The bacon is harmless and the government is wasting [its] time to make a collateral point about this community,” he contended. “There was no damage done. It represents more of an agenda that they [want to] protect this community. It would be hard case to case to prosecute.”
Becker, who noted that he finds anti-Muslim bigotry awful, said if the perp, described as a white male, was his client he might argue at trial that the bacon caper was constitutionally protected speech.
In Nevada, vandalism is known as “malicious mischief.” The statute lists 21 definitions. They all expressly require the perp to have damaged something or trespassed.
For example, graffiti is described as “any unauthorized inscription, word, figure or design that is marked, etched, scratched, drawn, painted on or affixed to the public or private property, real or personal, of another, which defaces the property”.
“Deface” is generally defined as altering or disfiguring something — like graffiti. You can’t just throw graffiti away, like you can bacon. It needs to be removed.
The law does prohibit, “damage of property used for purpose of religion.” But again, damage means some kind of physical alteration.
The damage here seems to be limited to hurt feelings. Masjid Tawheed Mosque board member Fayyaz Raja told the Las Vegas Sun that some worshipers were offended when the bacon was discovered. But, it’s not as offensive as you might think. “According to our religion, yes, we can’t touch it, we can’t eat it. That I understand. But to me, it’s comical.”
This is not the only reported incident of somebody bringing home the bacon to a mosque. In April, a mosque in Edmond, Oklahoma, reported somebody put bacon on their door handles.