Bacon (illustration)
Bacon (illustration)iStock
Police in Northern Ireland are launching a major investigation into an incident in which a piece of pork was inserted into the mailbox of an Islamic center on Christmas eve, according to the BBC. Police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

Dr. Raied al-Wazzan, treasurer of the Islamic Centre in south Belfast, described those responsible as “ignorant people”. He said: “We believe these people do not represent the vast majority of Northern Ireland. We have received many messages of support. They [those responsible] will not succeed. We have a very good relationship with all communities in Northern Ireland and we work hard with our outreach.”

His colleague Anwar Macady said that it was the first time the center had been attacked in such a way. “They’re supposed to be celebrating mercy and forgiveness," said Macady, referring to the timing of the incident. "I think this man is only representing himself, and a handful of people who may support him. We know that this person doesn’t represent the wider society of Northern Ireland and we are very thankful for the people who sent us messages to tell us the message of support.”

Emma Little-Pengelly, the DUP MP for south Belfast, condemned those responsible. “Attacking our small Muslim community in south Belfast is completely wrong, achieves nothing, and is entirely misdirected,” she said.

Pamela Geller, sharia-critic and author of Fatwa: Hunted in America, responded to the report, decrying claims the incident constituted an "attack",

"This is not an attack. 9/11 was an attack. This is sharia. If it’s an attack, it’s an attack on our very freedoms."