7.06.2006

Strike! Praise Allah!



Pig's Head Tossed into Lewiston Mosque

from Portland Press Herald

LEWISTON — A 33-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly threw a severed pig's head into a Lewiston mosque while a group of Muslim men were praying.

The frozen pig's head was rolled into the Lewiston Auburn Islamic Center on Lisbon Street about 10:15 p.m. Monday, witnesses told the Sun Journal of Lewiston.

About 40 men were bowed down as part of their prayer ritual when the incident occurred. They got up and ran outside but were unable to locate anyone. None of the men was hit by the animal head.

Brent Matthews of Lewiston went to the police department Tuesday, told a detective he had thrown the head and was charged with desecration of a place of worship, a misdemeanor.

The charge is considered a hate-bias crime, so Matthews' case will be referred to the Attorney General's Office for further investigation, Lt. Don Mailhot said.

Pigs are considered unclean by Muslims, who are barred from eating pork, and the act was viewed as a deliberate insult upon the religion.

Matthews, who was out on bail, "admitted to doing it," Mailhot said. "He thought it was funny; it was going to be a big joke. The police department doesn't take anything like that lightly."

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