Police launch probe after pig’s head is found outside Islamic Center
Cii Radio|Ayesha Ismail|25 August 2017|03 Zhul Hijjah 1438
The head of a dead pig has been left outside a Muslim community and prayer centre in Co Down.
It is believed it was left to distress and upset local Muslim people whose faith forbids them to consume pork.
Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
The head of the pig was placed outside the Bangladesh Islamic Community Centre in Newtownardson Greenwell Street around 11.15pm yesterday.
Graffiti was also daubed on the wall of the same building, a converted Victorian house. Police are treating the incidents as the first of two hate crimes
And in the second hate crime, anti-Muslim graffiti was daubed on a nearby wall in Castle Street.
A source in Newtownards said: “This graffiti was bad enough and it basically was a clear message that Muslims should get out of the area.
“But leaving the pig’s head outside a centre used primarily by Muslim families for community work and prayer is just sick. It was intended as an insult, to distress and upset and it has done just that.
“Newtownards has a healthy population of Muslims living and working in the community and integrating very well in the larger community. And every member of the public in Newtownards should be allowed to get on in peace and with some respect. This sort of abuse cannot be tolerated.”
Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, condemned the attack.
He said: “Our solidarity goes to the local Muslim community, who were the targets of this vile attack, apparently fuelled by a hatred of Islam or of Muslims.
“Anyone with information about the attack should contact the PSNI. This is a hate crime and must be prosecuted as such by the authorities.
“Amnesty calls on Northern Ireland’s political representatives to do all in their power to stand against hate and to ensure all minority communities feel welcome and able to live free from fear.”
Muslims do not consume pork as part of their faith, taking the word of the Qur’an as law.
It states: Forbidden to you (for food) are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than God.
A PSNI spokesman said: “Police in Newtownards are investigating two incidents in the town which occurred overnight, Wednesday, 23 August, and earlier this morning Thursday, 24 August.”
Chief Inspector Hazel Reid: “At approximately 11:15pm last night it was reported to police that a pig’s head had been placed on the doorstep and graffiti painted on a wall of a building.
“Shortly after 1am, it was reported that graffiti had also been painted on the wall of a building in the Castle Street area. Both these incidents are being treated as hate crimes.”
A police investigation is currently underway.
Source – Irish mirror