Workers building a mosque in southwestern France discovered a pig’s head and animal blood at the entrance to the construction site on Monday, the latest in a string of assaults on Muslim places of worship over the past 10 years.
“The perpetrators smeared the walls with animal blood and placed a severed pig’s head” on the front gate of the construction site, the deputy public prosecutor of Bergerac, Charles Charollois, added in a statement.
The vandalism happened overnight which didn’t come to light until workers arrived in the morning. “This building project is controversial,” Charollois said.
“There have been administrative and legal appeals to stop it, so there are many leads for us to follow.” Bergerac’s police commissioner, Frederic Perissat, “strongly denounced and condemned these acts that damage our freedom of conscience and expression and are contrary to the principles of separation of church and state,” and called for “mutual respect” in the community.
Over the past couple of days, posters stating “Bergerac is the city of Perigord, not Islam!” citing the former name of the Dordogne region, had been pasted around the town, according to mayor Daniel Garrigue.
“I can’t say that they’re connected, but I note that they’re in the same spirit,” Garrigue said. In France, violating a religious facility is a punishable offence by up to 7 years in prison.