The ADL has offered its support to the leaders of a North Philadelphia mosque where a severed pig’s head was left.
In the wake of an increased wave of Islamophobia in America, police are now investigating an incident in which a severed pig’s head was left outside of the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society in North Philadelphia late Sunday night.
The Anti-Defamation League today sent out a press release condemning this alleged hate crime.
“We strongly condemn this despicable alleged hate crime against the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society,” ADL regional director Nancy Baron-Baer stated in the release. “When a religious institution is the victim of a hate crime, the effects reverberate beyond those directly targeted, and can deeply impact entire communities. Philadelphians of all backgrounds and beliefs must stand together against such bigotry.
“This was not an isolated incident — anti-Muslim sentiment and hate crime is on the rise across the United States,” she continued. “We must make a concerted effort to combat Islamophobia, and come together to condemn hate in all forms.”
The ADL has been working to stop “the defamation of the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment to all,” assistant regional director Jeremy Bannett said to the Jewish Exponent.
“The ADL believes that you can’t just fight hate for one group of people; hate is wrong in any form,” regardless of a person’s background or belief, he said.
This incident follows closely behind another hate crime in Pennsylvania against a Muslim taxi driver in Pittsburgh, which the ADL condemned on Dec. 1.
“This particular incident is part of a larger wave that we’re observing of anti-Muslim attacks and hate crimes occurring across the country,” Bannett said of the crime against the Philadelphia mosque. “It started after the Paris attacks and this is something that we’ve been monitoring and something we’re deeply concerned about.”
He said the ADL has reached out to the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society to share their security resources with the mosque.
Bannett said it also provides yet another example of why the ADL is running its #50StatesAgainstHate campaign, which is working to strengthen hate crimes laws and training across the country.
Five states do not currently have hate crimes laws, and not all of the states that do have them on the books have enacted comprehensive legislation to cover crimes against sexual orientation, gender or those with disabilities, for example.
Pennsylvania does have hate crimes laws, which would require enhanced penalties if the police charge someone with the hate crime against the mosque.
A hate crime is defined as “an act motivated by prejudice or bias,” according to the website of the Office of the District Attorney of Philadelphia. “When certain crimes are committed because of a victim’s real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, or ancestry a hate crime has been committed in Pennsylvania.”
Contact: [email protected]; 215-832-0740