Update on Cape Town mosque attacks: Who's behind the Islamophobic acts?

Source: AP
Source: AP

Authorities say two mosques in Cape Town, South Africa, were recently defiled in Islamophobia-fueled attacks, Al Jazeera reports. 

On Jan. 7, a pig's snout was left at the entrance gate of a mosque in Simon's Town, according to Mail & Guardian. Pig's blood was sprayed over the walls of another Muslim center of worship in Kalk Bay on Jan. 9. No arrests have been made, according to Times Live.

In an official statement, Western Cape provincial government officials said the two attacks, perpetrated within days of each other, "made calculated use of Islamophobic methods." Further, the "similarity of cases, and proximity of the mosques, raises concerns that the two incidents may be linked." 

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille condemned the acts.

"Our society is founded on constitutional values of respect, tolerance and freedom," Zille said. "Acts of religious or racial prejudice have no place in our province and nation."

About 1.5% of South Africa's population is Muslim.
Source: 
Schalk van Zuydam/AP

Achmat Sity, imam of Masjidul Jamiah in Kalk Bay, told Agence France-Press the mosque's caretaker found the walls and the pulpit smeared in blood. "It was very disturbing," he said, adding that nothing was stolen.  

Pigs are considered unclean in Islam, and many people who practice Islam do not consume pork. 

Al Jazeera reported the desecrations took place less than a week after a white Western Cape resident posted a Facebook message calling for mosques to be burned down. The post has since been deleted. 

In light of these attacks, Farid Sayed, editor of Muslim Views, told Al Jazeera that racist attitudes are still embedded in post-apartheid South Africa. 

"This anger — from these racists and bigots — has been heightened by right-wing media outlets that continue to demonize and insult Muslims," Sayed said. 

According to Mail & Guardian, community members in Simon's Town reported the incidents to the South African Police Service, hoping they and the South African Human Rights Commission would act to address this issue. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Robert Valencia

Robert is a news staff writer based in New York. His writing has appeared in the World Politics Review, Fusion, and the Miami Herald. He's a frequent guest in English- and Spanish-speaking media, including CNN, Univision, Al Jazeera, Public Radio International, and Voice of America. You can reach him at rvalencia@mic.com

MORE FROM

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

The Movement for Black Lives responds to recent claims of a fractured coalition

"We make no assumptions that everyone and everything within our movement is perfect — far from it," organizers said.

White Americans more likely to own guns, blacks more likely know someone who has been shot: study

New research reveals startling stats about the relationship African-Americans have with guns.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

The Movement for Black Lives responds to recent claims of a fractured coalition

"We make no assumptions that everyone and everything within our movement is perfect — far from it," organizers said.

White Americans more likely to own guns, blacks more likely know someone who has been shot: study

New research reveals startling stats about the relationship African-Americans have with guns.