A pig’s head has been thrown at a mosque in Newcastle – the second attack at the site in less than a week. The head was discovered by worshippers in the mosque’s courtyard in Wallsend just before midday on Wednesday. The incident was caught on CCTV.
“It’s a sad incident,” Newcastle Muslim Association spokeswoman Diana Rah said. “It’s not so much the action itself, but it’s the intention and hate behind it. We’ve got a lot of support from the wider community, so it’s a shame that there are elements in the community who commit these sorts of crimes.”
Newcastle Superintendent John Gralton would not comment on the motivation behind the attack and has appealed for information from the public. “This type of incident does not belong anywhere in Newcastle or in NSW,” he said. “The command will use all resources to bring those responsible to justice.”
Last Wednesday, a Muslim man was punched in the face and racially taunted outside the mosque as he left prayer. Ms Rah wasn’t sure if the two attacks were linked.
“In the last couple of months there has been a heightened level of verbal abuse, especially with women in the community being targeted because they’re easily identifiable wearing hijabs,” she said. “But that had started to die down and we thought we’d hopefully seen the end of it. “But the incident last week, and this incident again this week, has probably put a bit of fear into our community.”
The NSW member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery, condemned “the sickening racist attack” on the mosque and said she hoped the perpetrators were brought to justice quickly. “This is the second attack on the mosque within seven days and I will be seeking more information from local police to see what can be done to ensure that this stops,” she wrote on Facebook.
See also “Pig’s head thrown at Newcastle Mosque in second attack in one week”, Newcastle Herald, 19 November 2014