AUSTIN (KXAN) — A bloody pig’s head mask and a hateful message were left outside a mosque in Austin on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Worshippers found the sign outside an Islamic Center and school at about 1 a.m. Saturday.
The message reads: “Muslims: you are as unclean to God as a pig is to you. Have your idolatry washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ.”
Waleed Haider woke up to the message early Saturday morning. He says it made him feel like a stranger in his own country.
“I think it really offended me how they had that pig’s head up there and that’s a really hateful message,” he said.
“This is my country, I am an American,’ said Haider.
It’s a title he wears proudly. It also just so happens that he’s spent his life worshipping and attending school at the mosque, freely. It’s a place that isn’t just a solid orange building for him.
“Regardless of what your faith is, there’s not much of a difference between us,” said Haider.
The targeting message is still hitting the Muslim community hard on a day many dedicate to service.
“At the North Austin Muslim Community Center, we were holding a National Day of remembrance by providing a COVID vaccine clinic, providing hot meals,” said Faizan Syed. “In our same city, at another Islamic Center, there was a hate crime that we believe was done.”
The Austin chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Austin) is now calling for an investigation.
“What a stark contrast to how this day is being remembered,” said Syed.
Syed believes the crime happened near midnight right before early morning worshippers got there.
“While our community united with our fellow Americans to help build a better nation, a small hate-filled minority continues to use bigotry and intimidation to attempt to divide us and dishonor the lives lost on that tragic day.” Syed said.
KXAN has contacted the Austin Police Department for a statement.