Pig’s head left near WA uni Muslim room
Discovering a severed pig’s head, dumped near a Muslim prayer room at a Perth university, is the first experience of blatant Islamophobia for Majdi Faleh.
The University of Western Australia PhD student says he was confused to discover the animal’s head in the toilet next to the campus’ prayer room on Sunday.
Mr. Faleh, originally from Tunisia, said he had never experienced such religious intolerance during the years he lived in France and the U.S., but he believed it was an isolated incident.
“That doesn’t represent our peaceful and civilised Australian friends – it represents a small minority,” he told AAP.
UWA Muslim Students Association executive officer Nazim Khan said he was shocked by the incident, but “we just take it in our stride these days with what is happening around the world.”
“This is a bit confronting for the person who saw it first, and for all of us I think,” Mr Khan told AAP.
“You don’t expect this to happen at a university.”
Mr. Khan estimated there were about 1,500 Muslim students at the university, and said the association worked to provide an inclusive environment for all students.
A UWA spokesman said the university was saddened by the “deplorable act.”
“It is concerning that people using the UWA Muslim prayer room have been targeted this way,” he said.
In a statement, the UWA Guild said it was investigating the incident, which it labelled an “unprecedented display of Islamophobia.”
“Acts like this are designed only to incite religious and racial hatred.”
Police have confirmed they are investigating, with officers working on several lines of inquiry.
A police spokeswoman said it was important not to jump to conclusions about motive as the toilet was in a public space.
In November last year, the head, limbs and guts of a pig were dumped at the Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Mosque in the Perth suburb of Southern River.
The Ar-Rukun Mosque in Rockingham had been targeted a week earlier, with vandals splashing the entrance with white paint.
A member of the mosque said windows were also broken regularly late last year, but that had since stopped, though another window was broken last month.