QUEBEC – Quebec City’s mayor decried the vandalism of the city’s Islamic center during the holy month of Ramadan, after someone left the head of a pig at the doorstep of the local mosque.
“In a society you have cretins, and in this case, there were two or three cretins, or one cretin that decided to do this,” Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume told reporters Monday, June 20, Montreal Gazette reported.
“These are people who want to provoke things.”
The attack came to public after the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec posted a picture of a pig’s head on its Facebook page June 20, saying its mosque had been vandalized.
The mosque officials reported the incident to police just before 3 am Sunday. The head was found a few minutes earlier by a worshipper attending early morning prayers.
Police said they were investigating after worshippers at the mosque discovered the severed head of a pig left in front of one of the doors. The head was wrapped in cellophane with bows and ribbon, and a card that said “bonne appétit.”
“As a police service, it’s very important for people to be able to practice their religion freely; that’s why this incident is being taken so seriously,” Quebec City Police Constable Étienne Doyon said.
“We’re asking anyone with information to come forward.”
He added that police are patrolling the area around the mosque on a regular basis.
Attack on Coexistence
Condemning the attack, the mayor said the attack isn’t only on Muslims in the city, but on everyone who believes in peaceful coexistence.
“These are citizens of Quebec; they are peaceful and they are part of our community,” Labeaume added.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Yangui, the president of the mosque, told several media outlets that there is a security camera trained on the door where the package was left.
Police Constable Doyon said police will take the mosque’s footage and review it.
“The investigation has just begun,” he said.
Islam considers pigs unclean because they are omnivorous, not discerning between meat or vegetation in their natural dietary habits unlike cows and sheep for instance, which eat only plants.
Muslims do not eat pork and consider pigs and their meat filthy and unhealthy to eat.
The attack comes as Muslims in Canada, and around the world, observe the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which kicked off last June 6.
Muslims make around 2.8 percent of Canada’s 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the country.
A recent survey showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian, and that they are more educated than the general population.