Kenney: Mosque desecration has no place in Philly
Mayor-elect Jim Kenney issued an immediate response Monday to the desecration at Al-Aqsa Islamic Society.
Late Sunday evening, an unknown person drove by the mosque on the 1500 block of Germantown Avenue in a red pickup truck and threw a cooked pig’s head at the building. It was discovered by leaders at the mosque on Monday morning; the police department is still conducting an investigation.
Anti-Muslim rhetoric has become more widespread in the wake of the Paris terror attacks last month, and surged again last week across the U.S. after the mass shooting in San Bernardino.
Kenney quickly referred to the pig’s head incident as “bigotry.”
"The bigotry that desecrated Al-Aqsa mosque today has no place in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection has a long history of coming together in the face of challenge,” he said in a statement.
Kenney is en route to a three-day conference at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics where he will learn about the mayor's job alongside other mayor-elects from around the country.
Long before this transition process began, Kenney was courting the city’s Muslim communities for support during his campaign. Back in the summer he visited Al-Aqsa, one of North Philly’s most well-known mosques, to sign a pledge against Islamophobia.
“We cannot allow hate to divide us now, in the face of unprecedented difficulties,” Kenney added on Monday. “I ask all Philadelphians to join me in rejecting this despicable act and supporting our Muslim neighbors.”
The Philadelphia region has the highest proportion of Muslims out of any U.S. metropolis, according to several statistics. Reports say there are between 100,000 and 200,000 Muslims living in the city, around 85 percent of which are African American.