A severed pig’s head, feet, and copies of the Quran spattered with pig’s blood were found last week at the site where the Muslim Association of Iceland will soon build its new mosque, Vísir reports. A red cross was also drawn on the ground in red paint. This hate crime was apparently perpetrated by three men, one of whom has openly admitted to participating in what he termed both a “protest” and a “performance.”
Óskar Bjarnason, who currently lives in Sweden, called the Icelandic radio station Útvarp Saga and claimed responsibility for distributing the pig heads on November 27. During this interview, he said that the goal was to desecrate the site so that the Muslim Association of Iceland would not want to build the mosque there. He added that next time, pig’s blood would be used on the ground instead of paint.
“This is incomprehensible,” said Salmann Tamimi, one of the imams of the Muslim Association of Iceland. “This is hurtful. But one can’t help but laugh and have pity for these people.” He added that the incident emphasizes these groups ignorance about Islam.
In a follow-up interview with Vísir, Óskar Bjarnason said that he was one of three others at the site, but did not take part himself. “This was a performance,” he said. “We were just protesting the mosque there.” He also stated that similar acts have been perpetrated at other “unholy sites” in Scandinavia. “This happened yesterday in Stockholm. They broke the windows of a mosque and threw [pig’s heads] inside. We are not so radical in Iceland.”
When the pigs head and desecrated pages were found, city employees were called to clean up the site. Police were not present at the time, and the evidence was actually thrown away. Óskar claims to have been present at the time.
As of Friday, November 29, police are investigating the case as a violation of Article 223 of Iceland’s Criminal Code which bans ridicule, public defamation, threats, insults, or attacks on individuals based on their religious beliefs. Violation of this law can result in up to two years imprisonment.
Óskar says that since the evidence has been disposed of, he is not concerned about prosecution.