Pig head tossed at Philly mosque draws ire

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dismembered Pig’s Head Hurled at Philadelphia Mosque.

Authorities are investigating an incident at a Philadelphia mosque after early-morning prayers Monday were disrupted by the discovery of a severed pig’s head on the mosque’s doorsteps. PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Police say they are now investigating a report of a pig’s head found outside an Islamic Center in North Philadelphia early this morning.PHILADELPHIA — An employee of a North Philadelphia Islamic school discovered a pig’s head early Monday morning at the building, according to philly.com.

A spokesman for the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society said surveillance cameras captured video of a red pickup truck that drove by the building twice Sunday night; during its second pass, an item was seen thrown out of the vehicle’s window and landing at the door of the mosque. Recently appointed Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has condemned the actions, considering them as motivated exclusively by irrational fear and hate towards other religious minorities. Philadelphia police told The Washington Post that the object was thrown from the passenger side of the truck, and that the vehicle’s occupants are not visible in the video footage.

He says the first time Al-Asqa received an act of hate was shortly after they Paris attacks when they received a voicemail that stated: “Allah… is a peace of pork [expletive]! As he explained, during these highly turbulent times we shouldn’t focus on cultural differences that drive us apart; instead, we should try to build a community spirit, by finding common ground.

A worker opening the mosque – which is in the same building as an Islamic school and the Arab American Development Corp. – found the pig’s head around 6 a.m. Marwan Kreidie, head of the Arab-American Development Corporation, which is also located in the mosque, reported the incident to the FBI after an employee found the head in front of the house of worship on Monday morning. Acts of religious bigotry are completely reprehensible, and can’t be justified as a way of reacting against terrorist attacks planned and carried out by extremists. This point of view was also shared by Rue Landau, executive director at the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, who mentioned that the culprits find themselves guilty of vandalism against an institution (a third degree felony) and of malicious intimidation of others, based on religious affiliation and ethnicity.

The Quran clearly forbids its followers from eating pork, which is why this farm animal has been used by Muslim opponents in order to provoke and mock the members of this religion. The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection has a long history of coming together in the face of challenge,” Kenney said in a statement Monday night. Administrators from the Al-Asqa Islamic Society say they’ve also contacted the FBI, the Department of Justice and the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission, asking for an investigation into this incident as a hate crime.

The report adds that someone called the mosque, which was established in 1996, after the Paris terror attacks last month and made derogatory comments about Allah. This most recent, yet identical offense comes in the heels of the mass shooting which took place on December 2 at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. The terrorist attack led to the death of 14 employees of the County Department of Public Health, by the hands of two radicalized Muslims, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

The married couple, who had been avid supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had apparently orchestrated the attack for a while, Farook having honed his shooting skills at the Riverside Magnum Range, mere days before committing the murders. Indeed, many Muslims in America report feeling or experiencing growing anti-Muslim sentiment, particularly since the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.

Incidents of this kind have heightened Islamophobia in the United States, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump even proposing that Muslims should be stopped from entering the country, until authorities become more effective in combating and addressing terrorist attacks. A similar incident was under investigation in England earlier this month after four pig’s heads were found outside of a community center that had hosted a Muslim event. While his proposal has been heavily criticized and decried by other political figures and even by the White House, it’s obvious that negative attitudes towards the Muslim community are shared by many Americans. The suspect said it was a prank, but the incident rattled the Lewiston Somali community. “A lot of people think it’s kryptonite to Muslims and it’s not,” said Kreidie, the Philadelphia mosque spokesman. “It’s just degrading and humiliating to people, and you know why it’s being done.”

It may be that the individual, whose number had been stored in the answering machine and was handed over to investigators, was the same as the one who committed this recent hate crime.

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