Hate crime investigation ongoing after pig’s head left outside proposed mosque

Lancashire Police is appealing for information following the dumping of a pig’s head outside of a proposed mosque in the market town of Barnoldswick on Sunday (October 8).

Officers attended the scene at Mosley Street at around 2 pm, following a report of a racially aggravated public order offence.

Lancashire police took the precautionary step of increasing reassurance patrols in the area.

Dedicated investigation officers are pursuing various lines of enquiries – including house-to-house enquiries, CCTV enquiries, and visits to local butchers and abattoirs.

In a press release, which included a statement from the Islamic centre, Inspector Claire Pearson, from the Pendle and Ribble Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team, made clear: “I want to make it clear that we do not tolerate hate of any form and we are taking this incident extremely seriously.

“We have a dedicated team of officers assigned to this case and they are working around the clock to identify those responsible.

“I am sure the residents of Barnoldswick will be equally as appalled by this behaviour and I want to appeal directly to them to contact the police if they have any information or footage which would assist us in our enquiries.”

Ibrar Ahmed, from the Barnoldswick Islamic Centre, said: “This incident is not aligned with the spirit of Barnoldswick, where Muslims have been an integral part of the community since the 1960s.

“The Barnoldswick Islamic Centre remains committed to fostering peace and harmony, working alongside everyone in our town to promote understanding. The Barnoldswick we know, and call home is a place of friendship and respect, and together, we’ll ensure it stays that way.”

Tell MAMA posted on social media that we are liaising with the force and will provide additional updates where possible. We urge mosques and Islamic centres to follow our safety tips.

On October 9, we posted on Twitter/X, “We are already seeing an increase in anti-Muslim hate and antisemitism here in the UK following the appalling events in Israel-Palestine. This is **not** acceptable. Report in anti-Muslim hatred or Islamophobia to us & we can assist. Report in antisemitism to @CST_UK.”

Last week, we reported on the burglary and arson attack Al-Falah Institute in west London, which they believe was driven by hate crime and anti-Muslim hatred.

The latest hate crime figures continue to show how Muslim and Jewish communities disproportionately face the brunt of religious hate crimes in England and Wales (which rose 9 per cent).

Several months ago, in partnership with ITV News, we carried out a hate crime survey of mosques which revealed that of the 117 mosques surveyed, almost 90 per cent experienced anti-Muslim hate crimes in the previous 12 months, with some mosques describing far-right intimidation and agitations. Another notable finding from the survey revealed that examples of graffiti and vandalism appeared in responses – including within prayer rooms or stones thrown at windows or broken windows. It must also be stressed that broadly speaking, almost one in 10 religious hate crimes across England and Wales involved arson or criminal damage.

The crime reference number is log 845 of October 8, 2023. Tell MAMA can pass on any information to Lancashire Police anonymously or on your behalf by calling 0800 456 1226 or by emailing info@tellmamauk.org

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