A PIG’S head was left outside a community centre which is used for prayer by Muslims in Leicester. The incident took place amidst heightened far-right activity in opposition to the As Salaam group’s plans to open up an Islamic centre at a scout hut next to the community centre.
The pig’s head was discovered by members of As Salaam group outside the Thurnby Lodge centre on Boxing Day at 7:30am.
Before this incident several protests involving racist groups such as the British National Party and English Defence League had taken place, over the plans to open an Islamic centre. BNP leader Nick Griffin even visited an area in August.
Despite the incident the As Salaam group say they will not be deterred and in fact it has only strengthened their resolve.
As Salaam imam Mohammed Lockhat he said: “We were shocked and saddened by this development. It’s deeply discriminating and religiously offensive.
“Every single day we have got people standing outside, protesters hurling insults, racist abuse. We weren’t expecting this to happen but it was only a matter of time.”
The area around the centre has seen heightened tensions in recent months. A 23-year-old Muslim said: “It’s a highly charged atmosphere at Thurnby Lodge at the moment and this was a very provocative act.
“Muslims are prohibited from eating pigs and whoever did this obviously knew that and were setting out to be offensive and make fun of something very serious to us.
“For me, it’s mainly the insult but some Muslims are extremely sensitive about the cleanliness of a pig’s head.”
Police said that the centre was only used by the As Salaam group and the insulting nature of a pig’s head being left outside a place of worship means they are treating this as a religiously motivated incident.