Pig’s head left outside Islamic centre in Newtownards

Police treat incident at premises in Co Down town and painting of graffiti as hate crime

A pig's head has been left at the door of an Islamic centre in Co Down, Northern Ireland.

Graffiti was also painted on the Newtownards building, in what police are treating as a hate crime. The incidents happened overnight.

Amnesty International condemned those responsible.

Amnesty's Northern Ireland programme director Patrick Corrigan said: "Our solidarity goes to the local Muslim community, who were the targets of this vile attack, apparently fuelled by a hatred of Islam or of Muslims.

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“Anyone with information about the attack should contact the PSNI.

“This is a hate crime and must be prosecuted as such by the authorities.”

The Islamic centre targeted had been at the centre of attacks by far-rightists in recent years, he added.

“When politicians fuel racist thinking, we should not be surprised when some people feel they have been given a license to act on their prejudices.

“Amnesty calls on Northern Ireland’s political representatives to do all in their power to stand against hate and to ensure all minority communities feel welcome and able to live free from fear.”

Press Association