—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
HOUSTON, Texas (December 7, 2012) – In a press release issued today, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Houston Chapter expressed grave concerns over the incident at Islamic Outreach Center (IOC) in Cypress, TX.
On the night of Tuesday, December 4, one of the worshipers came to pray the nightly Isha prayer at IOC and found a small dead pig with gruesome injuries, lying dead at the entrance of the mosque. It was further discovered that parts of the deceased animal’s intestine were found at the main gate of IOC.
An officer from the Harris County Sheriff Department came by to record the incident; another official from the Sheriff’s Department later took an official report, filed by the only eyewitness as a hate crime. The eyewitness expressed particular concern over the fact that the animal corpse was found missing the next morning after it has been placed in a dumpster the night before, as per the Sheriff Department’s orders.
ICNA has appealed to law enforcement authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of this incident, so as to avoid similar incidents against communities of faith. ICNA also promises to further increase its ongoing community outreach activities in the area.
See: When a Religious Home is Defiled, We Stand Together
“Muslims do not detest any animal; however, Muslims are not allowed to eat the meat of a pig,” said Ilyas Hasan Choudry, a spokesperson for ICNA Houston. “Because of this dietary restriction, the pig is sometimes symbolically used against Muslims. Similar incidents have occurred across the country; in the recent past, pig races were held in Katy, TX beside a Muslim place of worship.
Commenting on a concern that some neighbors have complained about noise and traffic due to IOC, Ilyas informed media that all prayer services are held inside the trailer building and were held outside only on Eidul Adha as there was a lack of space inside the building. “Yes, sometimes on weekends the children play soccer, but this is a normal activity for the youth in our area. If there are concerns, we are open to suggestions & interaction as to how to mitigate the issues.”
“There was a thought process behind this incident that compelled someone to act in a hateful way,” said Fahad Tasleem, Resident Imam of IOC. “We must use this as a time to learn about each other and teach others about Islam. Our doors are open. We want our neighbors and all else to come ask questions about Islam & Muslims. This dialogue must happen, and ICNA & IOC will as usual continue to make efforts to reach out.”
ICNA Houston is organizing an Open House on Sunday, December 16th, 2012, from 2 PM- 6 PM at IOC, which is located at 19025 Wilks Drive, Cypress, TX 77433. An occasion of interaction, people of all the faiths are invited to attend with their families and friends. For more information one can call 1-713-261-4512.
The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the application of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.
Islamic Circle of North America
Office: (718) 658-1199