The Dijon prosecutor has launched an investigation after a number of pig heads were hung on the gates of a building recently purchased by an Islamic association prior to its conversion to a place of worship.
Six sawn-halves of pigs heads were discovered on the gates of the building in Genlis, a small town near Dijon, France on Friday morning. Further to the pig heads, further “cold cuts” of pork were discovered thrown into the yard.
France’s Le Figaro reports the comments of the local Mayor, who said the Association of Socioculture and Muslim Culture of Genlis (ASCMG) had “acquired this building with the aim of making it a place of worship in the future. This announcement, made in the regional press last week, had unleashed [bad feelings]”.
The mayor told the paper he condemned the act of placing pig parts on the mosque and that he supported the work of the association. Speaking this morning, he remarked: “[The police] have taken samples and I hope the person or people of this act will be held accountable… hatred linked to religion has no place in our commune where everyone must live in full harmony and respect for each other”.
Algerian-origin Socialist politician Kheira Bouziane supported the mayor’s position, remarking: “The ASCMG has been promoting a peaceful inter-religious dialogue since 2013… today’s insult aims to divide”.
Anti-racism activist group spokesman Maryna Schcherbyna joined the mayor in a call for punishment, remarking this afternoon: “SOS Racisme… demands that justice be done”. She also referred to a 2016 case in the same town where the then-mayor Georges Grossel had called in a Facebook post for pork to be served in canteens. SOS Racisme demanded his resignation at the time — he was suspended from the mayorality and fined €2,000.
Local broadcaster Le Bien Public reports the attack comes two days before a public consultation is due to be held on the project.
The Dijon prosecutor has opened an investigation into what is being termed as a public provocation of discrimination or racial hatred, although police presently have no leads to pursue.
The Genlis case follows a significant number of other cases across Europe where Islamic centres of worship were defaced with pig parts. In Islam, pigs and their meat are considered unclean, or “haram”, and the leaving of bacon and other meat at mosques is considered a hate-crime and in some cases severely punished.
Breitbart London reported in 2016 on the placement of a pig’s head on the steps of the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in protest against her policy of mass migration from predominantly Muslim countries. In November 2016, two Polish migrants were jailed in the UK for throwing rashers of bacon inside a mosque.