A paperback copy of the Koran was tossed into a toilet on the lower Manhattan campus of Pace University - the latest in a spate of bias incidents upsetting students and administrators at the college, officials said yesterday.
The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the vandalism of the Koran, and the university's private security also is probing the incident, sources said.
"A Koran thrown into the toilet? I am hurt, not just as a Muslim but as a human being," said Zeina Berjaoui, 20, president of Pace's Muslim Student Association.
In the past two weeks, vandals also scrawled a swastika and .anti-black slurs on the same bathroom wall at Pace's campus near City Hall. Someone also sprayed the N-word onto a car parked at the school's Westchester County campus, cops and university sources said.
"One of our university's greatest strengths is its diversity," Pace President David Caputo wrote in a letter describing the incidents. "When speech is hurtful towards a class of people or incites violence, we must condemn it and take measures to stop it."
The copy of the Koran had been taken from the university .library before being defaced Sept. 21. It turned up in the toilet approximately two weeks ago. Today, cops will quiz the student who last withdrew the book, police sources said.
Unfortunately, university clean.ers scrubbed the repulsive scrawls off the bathroom wall before cops got a chance to view them. It's unclear if the defiled Koran was accidental, a sick prank or actually aimed at Muslims, police sources said.
Pace administrators, teachers and students met yesterday to discuss the recent incidents, which officials said do not appear to be connected.
"They're part of a larger pattern of intolerance that crops up in all society," said Pace spokesman Chris Cory.