On September 30, a pig's head was hurled through the window of an Asian family's home in Oldham, UK. In the double whammy assault, the perpetrator first shattered the terraced house's front window with a brick, then hurled the plastic-encased porcine cranium into the living room.
Homeowner Ajaz Mahmood's wife, Ghazle Kauser, and their four children were in the property at the time — and Mahmood's son Hannas, aged 14, and daughter Zeina, 16, were in the very room.
The brick missed Hannas, who was sat in a chair next to the window watching TV, by mere inches.
Mahmood was quoted by local media as saying he was unsure whether the attack was racial or Islamophobic.
"It took the police three hours to come out, but I don't blame them — all the officers are at the Tory conference. They've taken the pig's head away and will do forensics to see if there are any fingerprints from the bag. It could possibly be a case of mistaken identity. I was at work when I took a phone call from home and could hear hysterical screaming. It wasn't a nice experience, especially when your family are in the house, and vulnerable without me there," he said.
Mahmood has lived in the area for 29 years, and the house in question for 11, and he and his family had never experienced anything even remotely like this — he personally has never previously "had any trouble" in Oldham (although noted a recent incident in which bacon was left outside a mosque down south), and found the incident "strange and very disturbing."
Police have established a Vauxhall Corsa pulled up on the road with three men inside, one of whom exited the vehicle and carried out the assault, before running back to the car and driving off.
Mahmood may be uncertain whether it was a racist or Islamophobic attack, but local police forces consider the incident a "disgusting act against an innocent family" and a "hate crime."
Rise in Racism
In August, in nearby Bradford, UK police launched an investigation after several Muslim residents received anonymous letters containing threats, including a promise to perpetrate acid attacks against burqa wearers.
It's not merely Muslims that have been targeted — many different minorities, whether migrant or British-born, have been subject to abuse, threats, intimidation and violence.
A third of British Jews are considering leaving the UK due to growing anti-Semitism, for instance.