-home-panew-uk_news 10-1The head of the pig, which is offensive to Muslims who consider the animal unclean and are forbidden from eating pork, was discovered by worshippers from the As Salaam group at the Thurnby Lodge centre at 7.30am on Boxing Day.

UK Guardian  A 40-year-old woman and two men, aged 37 and 46, were arrested on Wednesday.

The incident came amid tension over the group’s plans to open an Islamic centre in a disused Scout hut neighbouring the community centre. There have been months of protests, including involvement by the English Defence League and the British National party.

The As Salaam imam Mohammed Lockhat told the Guardian that the incident had only increased the group’s commitment to stay: “We were shocked and saddened by this development. It’s deeply discriminating and religiously offensive … Every single day we have got people standing outside, protesters hurling insults, racist abuse. We weren’t expecting this to happen but it was only a matter of time.”

Thurnby Lodge pig's head

Residents complained that the hut should be available for the wider community. Protests were held against As Salaam, and a group calling itself the Committee for the Forgotten Estates of Thurnby Lodge and Netherhall handed a petition with 1,500 signatures opposing the plans to the city council. As a result, earlier this month, the council put As Salaam’s plans out for consultation and said a decision would be made in January.

Mohammed said, “We are very, very peaceful … We are not here to take over anyone’s land,” he said.  (Yeah, sure you’re not)