Three arrests have been made after a pig’s head was thrown on the roof of a mosque in Stockport on December 9.
Greater Manchester Police described the incident, which occurred at the Heatons Muslims Community Trust (HMCT), as a “hate crime.”
Yesterday, at around 10:20am, a 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred. He remains in custody for questioning.
Two men, aged 22 and 47, have already been arrested and released on conditional bail.
Detective Inspector Gareth Beasley of GMP’s Stockport division said yesterday: “Hate crimes are abhorrent and have no place in civil society.
“Today’s action sends a clear message that GMP will leave no stone unturned in order to hold those responsible for such offences to account and demonstrates to our communities that hate crime will never be tolerated.”
Greater Manchester Police added: “We all have a right to live without fear, hostility, and intimidation from others because of who we are. @gmvictims offers help and support to those who have been victim of hate crime. You can report hate crime via 101 or online. Home | Greater Manchester Police (gmp.police.uk). Always call 999 in an emergency
“Anyone with information about this incident should contact GMP quoting 3246 09/12/22. Information can also be shared anonymously via the independent charity – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Congregation members at the Heatons Muslims Community Trust (HMCT) made the shocking discovery as they left a gathering at around 9.15pm on Friday, December 9.
The pig’s head had been placed on a lowered and flat part of the building’s roof making it easily visible.
One of the trustees of HMCT said the incident has caused distress and worry among many of the regular attendees of the centre, some of whom are children and the elderly.
Muhammad Tayyab Mohiuddin said: “I think they have picked that point in order to terrify people. Everyone knows someone has placed it there and what their intentions were. In our religion, we are not allowed to eat pig’s meat or handle it in any way so someone has done it specifically for that reason.
“We have a lot of elderly people and a lot of children who use the centre and obviously they are a bit terrified that someone is targeting us and fear in the future someone could go further or take a wrong step. We have spoken to the police and told them. We’ve been told it is logged as a hate crime.”
Mr Mohiuddin added that the centre, which has been serving the Muslim residents of the Heatons for over a decade, has never had any issues besides two burglaries in the past year where a donation box and a TV were stolen.
He said CCTV footage showed a car pulling up with two people inside, one of them who got out was carrying what appeared to be a black bin bag.
The Heatons Muslims Community Trust (HMCT) has urged worshippers and residents to “remain vigilant and report any hate to the police.”