LAWTON — Police are investigating the dumping of a pig carcass outside an Islamic center.
Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said his organization is calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to join the investigation into the incident at the Islamic Center of Lawton, 913 SW F Ave.
Soltani said the incident should be categorized as a a hate crime because Muslims are prohibited by the Quran, the Islamic holy book, from consuming pork products. He said because of this prohibition, bigots often use pigs or pork to offend Muslim sensibilities.
“It’s obviously intended to offend Muslims,” he said.
Friday, Hassan Ahmed, Ph.D., director and imam of the Islamic Center of Lawton, said the center’s surveillance video shows a pick-up truck pulling into the center’s parking lot around 3 a.m. Tuesday. Ahmed said the video shows the truck backing up and an individual in the back shoving a pig’s carcass off the tailgate. The vehicle then drives away.
Ahmed said he was on his way to Fort Sill to make a cultural awareness and religious tolerance presentation when Lawton police called to alert him that an incident had occurred at the center. He said he returned to the center after making his presentation and noticed “a lot of blood in the parking lot” when he drove up.
Ahmed said police arrived and said one of their officers had driven by the center and noticed the pig carcass. He said police called animal control officers who came to the center and removed the dead animal.
Meanwhile, Soltani said from CAIR-OK’s perspective, the Lawton incident is among an increasing number of anti-Muslim incidents occurring around the country. He said he sees a correlation between such incidents and anti-Muslim rhetoric espoused during the recent presidential election and after the election of Republican candidate, now President-elect, Donald J. Trump.
He said anti-Muslim rhetoric on the state level also factors in to influence people to act out their intolerance for people of faiths and backgrounds different than their own.
“I think that is the crux of the matter,” Soltani said.