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Pig’s head left at Islamic centre during gruesome attack

Pig’s head left at Islamic centre during gruesome attack

Categories: Latest News

Friday August 25 2017

The Belfast Telegraph reports an incident related to hate crime which took place yesterday involving a Pig’s head being dumped outside an Islamic centre in Newtownards and buildings being covered in anti-Muslim graffiti.

The attacks occurred at Greenwell Street in the “Co Down town.”

Muslims are prohibited to eat pork due to religious reasons.

PSNI spokeswoman Chief Inspector Hazel Reid reported: “At approximately 11.15pm last night it was reported to police that a pig’s head had been placed on the doorstep and graffiti painted on a wall of a building.

“Shortly after 1am, it was reported that graffiti had also been painted on the wall of a building in the Castle Street area.

“Both these incidents are being treated as hate crimes.

“A police investigation is under way and we would appeal to anyone with information about either incident to contact police in Newtownards on 101.”

The anti-Muslim graffiti has now been painted over.

Strangford MP Jim Shannon was quick to respond. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph he stated: “I’m disgusted. This is a despicable crime.

“Our Muslim neighbours make a valuable contribution to the Newtownards community. They are people we all know, good people whose families and businesses have been in the town over the past 40 years. It’s hard to understand the mind of people who would commit such a hate crime.”

Mr Shannon who supported the application for the Islamic centre stated: “The criminals who did this are not representative of the people of Newtownards.”

Amnesty international also spoke up against the incident. Spokesman Patrick Corrigan said: “Our solidarity goes to the local Muslim community, who were the targets of this vile attack.

“In recent years this Islamic centre has been targeted by far Right activists.

“The same group held an anti-Muslim protest outside Belfast City Hall as recently as this month, supported by a local councillor.

“When politicians fuel this racist thinking, we should not be surprised when some people feel they can act on their prejudices.

“Amnesty calls on Northern Ireland’s political representatives to do all in their power to stand against hate and to ensure all minority communities feel welcome and able to live free from fear.”

Newtownards DUP councillor Stephen McIlveen claimed that the Muslim community was shocked by the incident that occurred.

He has spoken to the Muslim constituents and has visited the Islamic centre.

“It’s a disgrace that this has happened,” he said.

“I want to offer all the support and help I can to our Muslim neighbours.

“While there is shock and surprise at this incident, people are heartened by the amount of support they have received from the local community.

“Anyone who saw anything, or has any information about the incident, should contact the police immediately.

“This kind of behaviour has to be stamped out.”

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