AhlulBayt News Agency

source : London Free Press

28 March 2024

7:08:09 AM

Islamophobia in Canada: Muslim group reacts to pig carcass left at Halal store

A local Muslim group says the dumping of a pig carcass on the doorstep of a Halal grocery store in south city of London, Ontario is “an incredibly disrespectful act”.

AhlulBayt News Agency: A local Muslim group says the dumping of a pig carcass on the doorstep of a Halal grocery store in south London is “an incredibly disrespectful act”.

“We obviously don’t know the motives of whoever did this,” Nawaz Tahir, a spokesperson for Hikma, a media and political advocacy group for the London Muslim community, said Tuesday.

Tahir points out a gift-wrapped pig’s head was left on the front steps of Quebec City’s Islamic cultural centre during Ramadan in 2016.

The mosque was targeted a year later by a gunman who killed six worshippers and seriously injured five others.

“At the bare minimum it was incredibly disrespectful act. We know from studying hate that hate typically starts with these microaggressions and then grows,” Tahir said.

The co-owner of Berries Market, a Mediterranean grocery with a Halal butcher shop at 820 Wharncliffe Rd. S., reported to London police on Sunday that a fully cooked carcass of a pig in a cardboard box had been left outside a door to the shop.

The Islamic faith considers pigs to be unclean animals, based on the Qur’an, and they are not permitted food for Muslims and not sold in Halal butcher shops.

”This is (what I believe) is a threat,” Husam Mohammed told The London Free Press on Monday.

London police said Tuesday the investigation is “open and ongoing.”

On X, formerly known as Twitter, the National Council of Canadian Muslims echoed Hikma’s sentiments saying: “We strongly encourage all to refrain from speculations at this point, before investigations conclude.”

A spokesperson for the council said it is waiting for more information.

“We may have more to say very shortly,” Fatema Abdalla said.

London Coun. Elizabeth Peloza, in whose ward the incident occurred, says she is “deeply disturbed” by it.

“It’s important for our community to be aware of the hate that still lies within it so we can support each other and call it out,” she said. “I know many incidents go unreported. A lot of the time people keep their heads down.”

The incident occurred during Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and are encouraged to pray, read the Qur’an and perform acts of charity. The holy season is expected to end April 9.

The incident also comes about a month after Nathaniel Veltman was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for killing four members of a London Muslim family and injuring a fifth member when he struck them with his pickup truck as they were walking on Hyde Park Road in London on June 6, 2021.

Veltman, 23, was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for the deaths of Talat Afzaal, 74, Salman Afzaal, 46, Madiha Salman, 44, and Yumnah Afzaal. A judge found Veltman, a white nationalist, committed an act of terrorism when he drove into the family.

Hikma also said it is urging the Muslim community “to remain vigilant during these difficult times” and report all hate incidents to the police.