Islamophobia is rearing its ugly head more intensely these days. According to a new report, people are leaving severed pigs' heads in mosques.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that an employee at the Al Aqsa Islamic Society mosque in North Philadelphia was horrified to find a bloodied, severed pig head, which is something Muslims believe to be insulting according to their dietary laws. Sunday night's surveillance camera footage revealed the possible suspect behind the disrespectful act. Based on the footage, a red pickup truck could be seen driving by the mosque twice and on the second go-round, throwing something from the passenger's side at the mosque.
The incident is already being investigated by Philadelphia police. "We've got to be involved," Officer Pete Berndlmaier shard to Philadelphia Inquirer. "If they get away doing something like that, they are going to up the ante."
According to the head of the Arab American Development Corp., this is a grave incident. Attacks on any religious institution is an attack on all of us," Marwan Kreidie said. "A pig's head doesn't do much. Could the next thing be a pipe bomb?" he added.
The mayor also decries the act, calling it bigotry. "We cannot allow hate to divide us now, in the face of unprecedented difficulties," Mayor-elect Jim Kenney dsaid in a statement.
This is not the first incident involving pigs, pork, and mosques. The mosque's caretaker shared to Philadelphia Inquirer too that last month, after the Nov. 13 attacks in paris, they received a voicemail from anonymous caller labeling Allah as "a piece of pork s-"
Apart from this incident, a student at the University of Western Australia, Majdi Faleh also found a severed pig's head in the university mosque's toiliet on Saturday. The student took pictures of the pig's head and uploaded these on his Facebook. Faleh claimed that this is a sign that Islamophobia is becoming more intense. "Needless to say, if this happened at a university, then things are escalating," he said in his post.
Faleh told ABC News that he got scared of what he saw not because of the perpetrator's animal choice, but the message being relayed. "There clearly is motivation of these people trying to say you're not welcome here, or some similar message," he said. A spokesperson of the University also talked to ABC News and claimed the incident was concerning for them. "It is concerning that people using the UWA Muslim prayer room have been targeted in this way," the spokesperson said.
The rising number of incidents of pig's head being found on mosques is just one manifestation of Islamophobia in Western countries. In the United States, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump's recent call to bar Muslim from entering the country is another manifestation. According to Vox.com, a recent poll revealed that Islamophobia is no longer felt by some, but actually reflective of what the majority in the country feels.