/ 17 October 2008

Mosque defiled with blood, pigs’ heads

The Council of Muslim Theologians has described as barbaric and racist an incident in which people broke into a mosque in Potchefstroom and smeared the prayer room with blood before leaving two pig heads in it.

”The Jamiatul Ulama has learnt with sadness of the news of the desecration of a mosque in Potchefstroom … such contempt for a place of worship is an act of barbarism which cannot be condoned in a diverse society like ours that is built on mutual respect and understanding,” the council said on Friday.

The September 14 incident was orchestrated by people who ”belong to a mindset of the past to which the majority of the people of South Africa said, ‘Never again.”’

The council said: ”We join all faith groups as well as the Bishop Desmond Tutu Diversity Trust in unequivocally condemning this act, especially at a time other incidents of racism and intolerance have been linked to the town.”

This was a reference to recent reports of racist groups on the social networking website Facebook, allegedly started by students at the Potchefstroom campus of North West University.

North West police spokesperson Captain Mvula Chaka confirmed the mosque incident, saying police were yet to arrest the perpetrators.

”This incident appears to have happened at night because when the caretaker went to bed at 9pm that night everything was fine. But when he woke up to pray at 3am he was surprised to find two pig heads in the prayer room and blood smeared on the walls.

”It appears the perpetrator gained entry into the mosque by breaking a window,” he said. — Sapa