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Caller Denies Hate Crime, Says He Left Raw Bacon Near Ramadan Prayer Service for Stray Animals

"It was going bad in my trunk and I put it out for the scavengers...I did not intend for that to cause anybody any problems"

This photo shows the bits of raw bacon strewn near the Ramadan service. (Photo: NBC New York)

On Tuesday, various news outlets reported that someone had left raw bacon scattered around the field near the site of Ramadan prayers in Staten Island, presumably to offend the Muslims worshipers.

Hesham El-Meligy, founder of the Islamic Civic Association-Staten Island commented: "It's unfortunately a manifestation of the atmosphere and the irresponsible rhetoric of some politicians and some in the public."

But now, a New York City newspaper has received an anonymous call from a person claiming to have discarded the spoiled bacon-- and there was allegedly no offense intended to Muslims.

The caller, seemingly a little tongue-tied, told the Staten Island Advance he was putting it out for stray animals to eat because it had gone bad.

"Hi, Deborah," the anonymous man said on the voice mail of the local reporter.  "This is-- I was reading the article about the horrible incident of bacon and Muslims in the park and I wanted to let you know that is not my intention," stopping himself before saying his name.

"I had put the bacon there. It was going bad in my trunk and I put it out for the scavengers like the opossums and the raccoons and sea gulls, and I did not intend for that to cause anybody any problems."

"It was not any (inaudible) anti-Muslim act, and I did not want to offend anybody in way. Thank you and have a good day," he concluded.

However, the NYPD is still investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.  Apparently, an online individual threatened to bring a pig to the widely-publicized event beforehand, and Islamic officials are understandably skeptical of the confession.

"For me, personally, I don't think it was coincidence, but I will let the NYPD and the appropriate law enforcement agencies deal with it," said Dr. Mohamed Sadeia, the president of the Muslim American Society on Staten Island.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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