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News > World

Attack of the Pig Heads: Roundup of West's Islamophobia

  • An archive photo from July 19, 2015 shows anti-Islam protesters holding up various banners during a 'Reclaim Australia'protest in Brisbane.

    An archive photo from July 19, 2015 shows anti-Islam protesters holding up various banners during a 'Reclaim Australia'protest in Brisbane. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 December 2015

Muslims in the West have been the subject of hate speech and Islamophobia after the attacks in Paris and mass shooting in U.S.

​Muslims citizens and residents of Western countries have felt increasingly under attack by hate-related vandalism and speech in recent months as part of an international backlash against the global Muslim community over recent terror attacks targeting the West.

Several attacks on mosques and Muslims’ place of worship have been reported in several cities in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. One of the hallmarks of these attacks is pig heads left in places where Muslims or refugees congregate.

The so-called pig head attacks are meant as an insult against Muslims and Islam as eating pork is forbidden in Islam for various reasons across different sects of Islam.

On Dec. 8, a pig head was found in the toilet of a Muslim prayer room at the University of Western Australia. A day earlier, a pig's head was left at the door of a Philadelphia mosque, in the U.S., the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society mosque.

Police said they were investigating the incident as the same mosque had received voicemail last month, in which a male voice said: "Are you happy about what happened in France?" "God is a pig!" and "God is Pork!".

The message refers to the recent attacks in Paris in which six attackers, believed to be members of the Islamic State group, conducted several attacks across the French capital killing over 130 people.

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This comes less than two weeks after 14 pig heads were left at a refugee camp in the Dutch town of Eschmarkerveld, near the city of Enschede. Plastic bags full of pig blood were also found at the site. The municipality of the town went ahead with the plans for the camp despite objections by residents saying that they would feel “unsafe,” according to media reports.

Meanwhile, other sorts of hate attacks and hate speech have been intensifying in the Western world amid anti-Islam rhetoric from politicians and government officials.

In Dec. 8, officials at a mosque in Jersey City, N.J., reported receiving a letter calling Muslims “evil” and telling them to “go back to the desert.” The letter referenced comments Donald Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, made about people in Jersey City celebrating after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

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On Dec. 2, the day of the San Bernardino shooting, a bullet-riddled copy of the Islamic book Quran was left outside an Islamic clothing store in Anaheim city outside Los Angeles.

Also, late November, a 38-year-old Moroccan taxi driver in Pennsylvania was shot by a passenger who had asked him about Islamic State group.

Muslims and Arabs are being treated as suspects just for the mere reason that they speak Arabic or look Muslim or Arab.

On Nov. 19, two Palestinian U.S. citizens flying Southwest Airlines were ordered off a jet, questioned by authorities and their flight was delayed because a passenger said he was afraid to fly with them after hearing them speak Arabic. They were allowed back on the fight after they had been questioned.

Hate speech has been on the rise in the U.S. specifically after the mass shooting in California last week by a Muslim couple at a workplace holiday party.

Following the mass shooting, President of Liberty University, a non-profit Christian university, urged students on Dec. 5 to carry concealed weapons, saying “Then we could end those Muslims before they walked in.”

On Monday, Trump also made his most controversial remarks yet since he kicked off his presidential campaign, when he called for blocking Muslims, including would-be immigrants, students and tourists, from entering the country following the deadly shootings in California.

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