Two arrested for hate crime after pig's head was thrown onto mosque roof
Police carried out three simultaneous raids in Stockport and arrested two men in connection with a hate crime after a pig's head was thrown onto the roof of a mosque in the city.
Members of the Stockport community were left in shock after making the gruesome discovery at the Heatons Muslims Community Trust (HMCT).
The head was visible on the roof and police logged the incident as an Islamophobic hate crime.
The two men arrested are aged 22 and 47. They remain in police custody for questioning.
Detective Inspector Gareth Beasley of GMP’s Stockport division said: "Hate crimes are abhorrent and have no place in civil society.
"Today’s action sends a clear message that GMP will leave no stone unturned in order to hold those responsible for such offences to account and demonstrates to our communities that hate crime will never be tolerated."
Worshippers leaving the mosque made the grim finding at 9.15pm last Friday.
The mosque’s CCTV footage showed a car with two people inside, with one seen carrying a trash bag when they exited the vehicle. The car's license plate was noted and handed over to the police.
HMCT trustee Mohammed Tayyab Mohiuddin said: “Everyone knows someone has placed it there and what their intentions were,” the Metro reported.
“We have a lot of elderly people and a lot of children who use the centre, and obviously they are a bit terrified that someone is targeting us and fear in the future someone could go further or take a wrong step,” he added.
He said the mosque has been a victim of two burglaries in the past year, with a TV and donation box stolen.
The centre also released a statement after the incident: “A pig’s head was placed on the roof, in what looks like a hate crime. Unfortunately, this behaviour is not a one-off occurrence.
“In survey data released earlier this year, by Muslim Census and Muslim Engagement and Development, it was reported that almost half (42 percent) of mosques or Islamic institutions surveyed have experienced religiously motivated attacks in the last three years.
“Seventeen percent of mosques from the 42 percent reported having faced physical abuse directed at staff or worshipers, including the stabbing of a muezzin in 2020.
“The HMCT asks local residents and worshipers to remain vigilant and report any hate to the police.”
The wider community has expressed support for the mosque and its members and condemned the hateful act.
Cllr Helen Foster-Grime, Cabinet member for Communities and Housing at Stockport Council, said: “The council was shocked to hear of the incident that took place at Heatons Muslims Community Trust (HMCT) building on Battersea Road in Heaton Mersey on Friday, December 9.
“We stand together with our Muslim community against hate - Islamophobia has no place in Stockport or elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
“We need to be clear that hate crime and Islamophobia have no place on our streets and will not be tolerated.
“We join with local residents in offering our solidarity and support to the Muslim community during this time.
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