A pig’s head, feet, and innards were left on five-foot tall spikes at the site of a proposed mosque in the German city of Erfurt.Police are investigating the incident after the pig remains were discovered at the building site on Monday, Focus Online reports. The site, which has already been the subject of protests in the area, is the planned home of a new mosque for the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam which routinely faces persecution from other Muslims.
So far, no suspects have been named by the Erfurt police though they have confirmed they have opened a criminal investigation. The pig parts were taken from the site and disposed of by a local company who specialises in the disposal of animal carcases.
The site of the mosque has been under protest before from a group called Bürger für Erfurt or “Citizens of Erfurt” who, along with the anti-mass migration NGO Einprozent, have called for the mosque not to be built. The group set up a 30-foot high wooden cross on the property adjacent to the site in March to protest the construction.The Ahmadiyya community in Erfurt responded to the cross saying they did not feel it was a provocation. Community spokesman Mohammad Suleman Malik said:”The cross is not a provocation,” adding: “We would even welcome a church building in Marbach in the immediate vicinity.” The local government felt more strongly about the action calling Einprozent a group with “neo-Nazi” ideas.
The Ahmadiyya sect is often more persecuted by their fellow Muslims, many of whom regard the group as “apostates” because they believe that 19th-century Indian Muslim leader Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the promised Messiah of Islam.
In the UK, there have been several cases of sectarian violence towards Ahmadiyya believers including the killing of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah by Sunni Muslim Tanveer Ahmed last year. The UK Muslim Brotherhood-aligned group the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has also denounced Ahmadiyya Muslims saying they are not Muslims at all.
“Despite our clear theological beliefs, we note that pressure is mounting to describe this community as Muslim. Muslims should not be forced to class Ahmadis as Muslims if they do not wish to do so,” they said.
Though they are persecuted by a large segment of the Muslim community, the Ahmadis have called for reform within Islam and have said Muslims in the UK should pledge allegiance to the country and the flag.
Khalil Yousuf, a spokesman for the British Ahmadi Muslim community, said last year: “Not only should we raise the flag, but everybody in the Muslim community should have to pledge loyalty to Britain in schools.”