03:37 GMT27 October 2020
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    An investigation has been launched after a severed pig’s head was discovered at a Philadelphia mosque as it opened for Monday morning prayers.

    Surveillance cameras captured footage of a red pickup truck driving by the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society twice on Sunday evening, the second time launching the severed head at the building’s doorway. Unfortunately, the occupants of the truck were not visible in the video.

    On Monday morning, the person opening the mosque for prayer service discovered the pig head, which was reported to local authorities.

    “It’s just a pig’s head — that’s not a big deal; but it does send a message,” mosque spokesman and Arab American Development Corp. Director Marwan Kreidie told the Washington Post. “I think people are worried that if they do a pig’s head, they could do something more violent in the future.”

    A spokesperson for the mosque has stated that they believe that it was hate-motivated, as Islamic law bars followers from eating pork. 

    Police have stated that they are not investigating it as a hate incident or crime yet, as the motive has not been determined. The department has interviewed potential witnesses and do appear to be taking it seriously however, with an officer telling the Philadelphia Inquirer that if the perpetrators get away with this attack, they may up the ante later.

    Later on Monday, Mayor-elect Jim Kenney also released a statement urging the people of his city to “join me in rejecting this despicable act and supporting our Muslim neighbors.” He further stated that the bigotry demonstrated by the act has no place in Philadelphia.

    The mosque also received a voicemail following the Paris attacks where a male voice asked, “Are you happy about what happened in France? God is a pig!” and “God is Pork!” 

    The Al-Aqsa Islamic Society will now be under increased police surveillance.

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    Tags:
    Islamophobia, Al-Aqsa Islamic Society, Mosque, Jim Kenney, Philadelphia
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