Cape Town – Noorul Islam Masjied in Simon’s Town was “vandalised” on Saturday morning.
The 15-centimetre long butchered snout, with a part of its mouth still attached, was discovered by worshippers just before early morning prayers on Saturday morning.
The action has been condemned by Muslim authorities, the SA Human Rights Commission and Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille, who said “the heinous crime would not be tolerated”.
The incident comes a week after a Langebaan resident called for the local mosque to be burnt down.
Liam Christian Ferreira wrote on Facebook “it is a crime that no one is standing up to those Muslim bastards blaring their call to prayer five times a day over massive speakers”.
He has since apologised, but the Muslim Judicial Council has indicated it was considering legal action against him.
Ferreira on Sunday slammed the pig nose incident, calling it “pure negativity”.
“I wish to emulate the majority of Muslims I have spoken with when I say to those responsible: Peace be upon you,” he wrote on Facebook.
On Sunday, members of the Noorul Islam Masjied in Simon’s Town met with the MJC and the HRC to discuss the incident.
Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut has confirmed that charges have been laid.
“A criminal case of crimen injuria is under police investigation following an incident where a pig snout was placed at the entrance of a mosque in Simon’s Town,” Traut said.
The chairperson of the mosque, Abdus-Salaam Cader, says a worshipper called him early on Saturday morning to report the shocking discovery.
The first Muslim prayer of the day, called fajr, takes place at about 4am.
“A brother was opening the mosque on Saturday morning when he discovered the pig snout stuck in the gate,” says Cader.
“He called me first as I live nearest to the mosque. We have since done a prayer to cleanse the area from the blood and from the crime itself too,” Cader says.
The imam of the mosque, Fuad Samaai, said the gesture was an insult to Muslims.
In Islam, the pig is deemed a dirty animal and it is forbidden (haraam) for Muslims to consume it.
“We are of the opinion that all religious sanctuaries must be preserved. In this case it is an attack on an entire community and a place of worship,” he told Weekend Argus.
MJC president, Sheikh Irafaan Abrahams, says while they acknowledged people’s anger and disgust, the MJC urged Muslims not to retaliate.
“I know that the Muslim community is angered by this incident and we urge them not to take the law into their own hands, but rather to convey peace as our faith requires,” he said.
“There are departments in place to deal with incidents like these, even like the incident in Langebaan.”
SAHRC Commissioner, Advocate Mohamed Shafie Ameermia, flew in from Johannesburg to investigate the matter.
He says the HRC would approach Parliament to discuss the implementation of more serious penalties for hate crimes.
“This is a very serious violation. We cannot tolerate intolerance. Justice will prevail and I will head to Parliament to start the process of implementing heavy judgements on hate crimes.”
De Lille said there was no place for religious intolerance in Cape Town.
“Now is the time for all the people of Cape Town to stand together and reject those who disrespect the religious practices and choices of others,” she said.
“I appeal to all residents who have information about this terrible act to come forward and cooperate with all authorities who are conducting investigations.”