After break-in, mosque leaders still talk peace

The Islamic Center of Northern New York on State Route 341 in the Town of Leray was reported to have been broken into and vandalized recently.

CALCIUM — State police are investigating a possible burglary and vandalism incident at a mosque in the town of LeRay.

A spokesperson for the state police said an employee at the Islamic Center of Northern New York on Route 342 reported equipment being stolen and religious items damaged sometime between Monday, June 8 and Friday, June 12.

Raul Gonzalez has lived near the mosque for three years, he said. He hasn’t interacted with it much, but he said they are always nice.

“They stay to themselves and I didn’t see anything that’s happened in the last week or two,” said Mr. Gonzalez, a retired military veteran. “They’re nice, but their services are at night and maybe once a week, so I don’t really see them.”

Mr. Gonzalez said he spoke with state police and told them about not seeing anything, adding that his house wasn’t broken into at all.

The Calcium Primary School within the Indian River Central School District is nearby the mosque as well. Assistant Principal Kevin Kelly was at the school Tuesday at around noon, helping staffers hand out lunches to students in the parking lot. He said he hadn’t heard about the reported incident.

“It’s so secluded,” Mr. Kelly said.

No one broke into the school either, he said. The cameras inside and out and common drive-bys from state troopers — along with the secure infrastructure — would likely have stopped that, he said.

The school also has had little to no interaction with the mosque. School officials almost approached the mosque to ask if they could use their property in the case of an evacuation, but that never materialized.

“I’m surprised we don’t have some sort of connection with them just because they’re so close,” he said, “but we don’t have a single connection with them.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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