CHINO, Calif. -- A Southern California Islamic organization is asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate an incident this week in which three pig legs were allegedly thrown onto the site of a proposed mosque.
The greater Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked federal officials to look into the incident as a possible hate crime.
The mosque's construction was approved this year by San Bernardino County officials but has been stalled by a lawsuit filed by opponents.
CAIR said the animal parts were thrown on the driveway of the proposed Al-Nur Islamic Center near Chino just before 10 p.m. Tuesday.
About two dozen people, who had received a special permit, were gathered at the site at the time for late-evening prayers for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month now in progress.
A CAIR spokeswoman said the incident was especially troubling because of its timing during Ramadan and because observant Muslims consider pigs unclean.
"We urge the DOJ to investigate possible federal charges for the perpetrators of this disturbing incident," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.
"Only firm action by local, state and federal law enforcement authorities will send the message that bias-motivated attacks on Muslims, or Americans of any faith, will not be tolerated."
Ayloush also noted that four teenagers were arrested following an incident Saturday in which the American Muslim Association in Hayward, Calif., was pelted with oranges and lemons as worshipers prayed inside.
At least one worshiper was hit by the objects.
A mosque official reported that Saturday's harassment was the fourth such incident in the recent past.
CAIR's national headquarters this week urged U.S. mosques to take precautions following recent incidents against mosques in Missouri and Rhode Island and after last week's deadly attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
Pig Legs Left at Site of Proposed Mosque; Federal Probe Sought
Courtesy: Greater L.A. chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations