Police investigate pork attack on Belfast Islamic centre
The Islamic Centre where the attack took place. Pic: Alamy Stock Photo/The Guardian
Police in Northern Ireland are treating as a hate crime an incident in which pork was forced through the letterbox of an Islamic centre on Christmas Eve.
Raied al-Wazzan, the treasurer of the Islamic Centre in south Belfast, described those responsible as “ignorant people”. He said: “We believe these people do not represent the vast majority of Northern Ireland. We have received many messages of support. They will not succeed. We have a very good relationship with all communities in Northern Ireland and we work hard with our outreach.”
His colleague Anwar Macady said that it was the first time the centre had been attacked in such a way, and it was sad that it had happened on Christmas Eve.
“They’re supposed to be celebrating mercy and forgiveness. I think this man is only representing himself, and a handful of people who may support him,” Macady said. “We know that this person doesn’t represent the wider society of Northern Ireland and we are very thankful for the people who sent us messages to tell us the message of support.”
Emma Little-Pengelly, the DUP MP for south Belfast, condemned those responsible. “Attacking our small Muslim community in south Belfast is completely wrong, achieves nothing and is entirely misdirected,” she said.
In August an Islamic centre in Newtownards, Co Down, was subjected to a racist attack when a pig’s head was left on its doorstep.