Severed pig’s head left at N. Phila. mosque
Philadelphia police, the FBI, and the city’s Human Relations Commission launched investigations Monday after a worker at a North Philadelphia mosque found a severed pig’s head outside its door.
Surveillance video outside the Al Aqsa Islamic Society, on Germantown Avenue near Jefferson Street, showed a red pickup truck drove past the building twice just before 11 p.m. Sunday.
The first time it crept along slowly near the curb. On its second pass, the video shows, someone extended an arm from the passenger window and tossed something that rolled to a stop near the mosque’s front door.
An employee found the bloodied animal head there around 6 a.m. Monday. Pigs are considered insulting to Muslims who observe halal dietary laws.
Police and the FBI confirmed they were reviewing the incident, though they said it was too early to discuss potential charges.
“We’ve got to be involved,” said Officer Pete Berndlmaier of the 26th District, who gathered information at the scene. “If they get away doing something like that, they are going to up the ante.”
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Police retrieved the surveillance video and interviewed potential witnesses. In the video, which was viewed by The Inquirer, the truck’s license plate is not easily discernible, but officers said authorities might be able to enhance the video.
Rue Landau, executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, said the incident could be a violation of the city’s ordinance on ethnic intimidation and institutional vandalism.
“It is a heinous act that sends a message to Arab American communities that they are not wanted here in
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