10/02/2012 02:48 EDT | Updated 10/02/2012 02:50 EDT

Bacon Mosque Vandalism Investigated As Hate Crime

Studio Senbel

Someone left several piles of pork bacon outside a Coquitlam mosque and Islamic centre, leading B.C. RCMP to investigate the act's motivation.

The act of mischief on Sept. 26 is the second time in 18 months that the Islamic Society of British Columbia has been the target of vandalism and mischief, said RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung in a news release. The ISBC site in Port Coquitlam hosts cultural and religious activities.

"Investigators cannot eliminate the possibility that these incidents were motivated by hatred until all investigational steps have been completed," said Chung on Tuesday.

"We believe that whoever is responsible for this act does not know us and does not understand what we stand for," said Dr. Saad Bahr, president of the ISBC. He explained that for Muslims, pork is a symbol of impurity and that its presence spoils purity.

"Although this act was wrong and it seems offense was intended, we would welcome those responsible into our community to learn more about us and our beliefs," Bahr added.

The Coquitlam RCMP is working with the Integrated Provincial Hate Crimes Unit on the case.

There have been other cases in the U.S. of people defacing mosques with pork products.

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