An employee at a Philly mosque stumbled upon a gruesome discovery Monday morning: a severed pig's head lying near the building's front door, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Per USA Today, surveillance video shows a red pickup truck cruising slowly by the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society building Sunday night, then making another pass to fling the pig's head out a window. "It is a heinous act that sends a message to Arab American communities that they are not wanted here in Philadelphia, and that could not be further from the truth," the head of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations tells USA Today. The commission, cops, and the FBI are said to be investigating, and although the truck's license plate is difficult to read in the video, authorities say they may be able to enhance the visuals, the Inquirer notes.
Local leaders say hostility toward Muslims has intensified since the Paris attacks and San Bernardino shooting, bolstered by what the Inquirer calls the "anti-immigrant rhetoric of some politicians." (Donald Trump's call to keep all Muslims from entering the US could fall under this umbrella.) The mosque's caretaker, for instance, says the day after the Paris massacre, an anonymous caller left a voicemail that called Allah "a piece of pork s---." "There's a constant climate of insinuation of terrorism and disloyalty that creates this pervasive sense of being an outsider," a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding tells the Washington Post. Backlash against Muslims is "worse now than it was after 9/11," the head of the city's Arab American Development Corp. tells the Inquirer. "[Sept. 11] was a horrible incident, but we didn't have this kind of reaction, nobody threw a pig's head. … Could the next thing be a pipe bomb?" (Read more Muslim stories.)