Just before 3am in late June a worshipper attending morning prayers found a pig’s head gift wrapped with a card stating “bon appétit”, outside the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec in Canada. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard described the act as “despicable” and the Mayor of Quebec City, Regis Lebeaume, said that this was the act of a “cretin”.
In recent times Islamophobic attacks are on the rise in Quebec with multiple cases of mosques being attacked and of Muslims being physically as well as verbally attacked. In 2013, Quebec Muslim Badia Senouci was verbally assaulted in public by a stranger who reportedly told her to remove her hijab and that the Government would soon be forcing her to remove it anyway as the proposed Quebec Charter of Values which included the ban of all religious symbols in public institutions. When Senouci’s son attempted to defend her, the perpetrator spat in his face.
The proposed charter also prompted an attack on Montreal Mosque which was splashed with what was belie Islved to be pig’s blood. A year later in 2014 another Muslim woman was verbally harassed and the perpetrator also attempted to remove her hijab.
In 2014 a halal butcher shop in Sherbrooke was attacked and a person had put holes through store glass, left paper crosses outside and left notes with the statement “No to Islam” written in French. The most recent attack was in December 2015 where a pig’s head was left outside a mosque as well as leaving a voicemail on the mosques answering machine.
Shortly after the discovery of the pig’s head, Quebec City police were notified and the city’s police constable, Etienne Doyon, said to reporters: “It’s very important for people to be able to practise their religion freely; that’s why this incident is being regarded so seriously.”
Mohamed Yangui, the head of the Islamic centre that was targeted called this incident “a waste of time, money and energy, we have high definition cameras. We will certainly find the person who did this.” Despite this, the police have yet to make any arrests regarding this case as investigations continue.