MIDLAND PARK - The Islamic community of one Bergen County town is on edge after vandals carved a swastika on the sign of their mosque.
Midland Park police say someone carved the sign of the El Zahra Islamic Center on Irving Street sometime on Memorial Day. The vandals supposedly carved the swastika and other obscene symbols.
"I am shocked and sad that someone could do this to a house of worship," says Imam Mohammad Charaf.
Midland Park police say they believe the mosque was specifically targeted, so it is being treated as a bias crime.
"Anytime we get a bias incident like this, where this insignia is carved into a structure...we do treated it as a bias incident," says Midland Park Police Chief Michael Powderly.
Chief Powderly says other acts of vandalism may have occurred in town around the same time. They are hoping someone from the public may know anything about it.
Imam Charaf says the mosque's planned open house will go on this Friday. He says the outreach to the community is needed now more than ever.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Midland Park Police Department at 201-444-2300.