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The North London Mosque and the case of the pig's head
by Andrew Gilligan
On the night of 19 July, a severed pig's head was left on the railings of the North London Central Mosque, in Finsbury Park. It appears to have been a serious racist attack – pork is of course forbidden to Muslims – and it reportedly caused great offence to worshippers who discovered it when they arrived for early morning prayers. But some aspects of the mosque's response to the incident have raised questions.
As I've reported, one of the mosque's own former trustees, the Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood, has asked the Home Secretary to investigate whether the mosque hosted the key al-Qaeda spiritual leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, and the alleged Detroit plane bomber, Farouk Abdulmutallab. The mosque fiercely denies it. The story first emerged in a post on the Spectator's Coffee House blog on July 19 – the same day as the pig's head incident.
The mosque seized on the timing. In a press release, it explicitly linked the pig's head incident to the Spectator blog post and Mr Mahmood's intervention. It also blamed Mr Mahmood for the attack in the local paper, the Islington Gazette.
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