Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter condemned the recent desecration of Al-Aqsa Islamic Society, a North Philadelphia mosque and school. The incident involved a pig's head being thrown at the door of the mosque and being left there for community members to discover. A surveillance tape shows a person throwing the head from a red pickup truck Sunday night, reported Philadelphia Media.
"Someone tried to desecrate the mosque and its peaceful people. That, of course, will not be tolerated," said Nutter Tuesday at City Hall, while announcing a $2,000 reward for information that can help officials convict "anyone engaged in a hate crime." Leaders of Philadelphia's communities gathered to hear Nutter speak, including imams, rabbis, priests and government officials.
Marwan Kreidie, of Philadelphia's Arab American Development Corp, said the perpetrators may have thought this action would be seen as an act against ISIS. "In fact, they are doing exactly what the radicals want them to do. They want America to appear to be anti-Muslim. This will help them in their recruiting; this will help them in their propaganda. We can't let the extremists win," said Kreidie, according to Philadelphia Media.
Since the attacks in Paris, Islamophobic statements have become more frequent in the media and, throughout November, mosques were also vandalized or attacked in Connecticut, Nebraska and Virginia, noted the Wall Street Journal.
The Al-Aqsa Islamic Society also received a hateful voice mail the day after the attacks in Paris. The manager of the mosque, Nabil Khalil, said he is praying for the person who left the pig head at their door, saying "may God put him on a straight path. If he was in the right mind, he wouldn't be doing this," reported Fox News.
Nutter said the incident at the mosque combined with Donald Trump's recent call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. was a "toxic combination." He said Trump has taken a page "from the playbook of Hitler," and he wished he could ban Trump from Philadelphia, reported the Wall Street Journal.