A dismembered pig’s head was hurled at a Philadelphia mosque, in an incident which proves that anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise in the United States.
Recently appointed Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has condemned the actions, considering them as motivated exclusively by irrational fear and hate towards other religious minorities.
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.
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. For instance, one suck attack involving a severed pig’s head took place in October 2014, at the Arab-Hellenic Institute from Athens, Greece.
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.
Eventually, the two perpetrators were neutralized in an armed confrontation with law enforcement, who had been pursuing them after they had fled the scene in an SUV.
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.
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.
This recent incident which occurred at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society, located on Germantown Avenue, in North Philadelphia provides further proof of this growing animosity.
From footage recorded by surveillance cameras it can be seen that the sacrilegious act took place on Sunday night, and that the pig’s head was flung out of a window, by someone driving a red pick-up truck.
Eventually, the gruesome body part was found at approximately 6 a.m. on Monday morning, by the mosque’s caretaker, 49-year old Nabil Ibrahim Khalil.
An investigation led by the local police department and the FBI is currently under way, in order to determine the identity of the person who targeted the Muslim place of worship, so as to desecrate it.
Apparently, someone had called the mosque following the Paris terror attacks, leaving a highly offensive voice message directed towards Allah.
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.
Image Source: Art Well