Pigs’ heads at Australian Islamic school site

SYDNEY — Two pigs’ heads were found at the site of a proposed Islamic school on Sydney’s outskirts Wednesday, the school’s backers said. An Australian flag was draped between the two heads, said Jeremy Bingham, spokesman for the Quranic Society.

“Someone has put a couple of stakes in the ground with a pig’s head on the top of each stake and an Australian flag inside,” Bingham told AFP. “The police are treating it as a crime scene and making investigations.”

Earlier this month about 1,000 people attended a meeting to protest against the proposed school in Camden, in Sydney’s far southwest, while a cross was previously found on the grounds.

The state government’s Community Relations Commission condemned the latest protest as “a mindless act”. “This insult and display of hatred is not something any fair-minded Australian would approve of,” said commission head Stepan Kerkyasharian in a statement.

Muslim leaders condemned the incident, not the first in Sydney. “It’s just quite sad really, we don’t need this rubbish in Australia,” Australian Federation of Islamic Councils spokesman Haset Sali said.

In 2005 anti-Muslim sentiment boiled over into ugly riots on the Sydney beach of Cronulla, where rioters targeted people of Middle Eastern appearance. And in 2004, a severed pig’s head was similarly impaled in front of a Muslim prayer centre under construction in Sydney’s northwest.

AFP, 28 November 2007

Update:  See “Pig head protest over planned Islamic school”, ABC, 29 November 2007

One of the protestors demands: “Why would you want to come and open a school in this area, then an all purpose hall which will be used as a mosque, and don’t tell me it won’t be. If I wore a hijab now, I could have an M-16 under my hijab and you wouldn’t even know I had it there.”