25 February 2016
Unknown assailants have placed a dead pig in front of a mosque under construction in the East German city of Leipzig. The cadaver, which was discovered by passers-by in the morning, bore an inscription in red paint that read ‘Mutti Merkel’ (Mummy Merkel), a popular nickname for the German Chancellor. While previously associated with Merkel’s down-to-earth pragmatism and what many Germans perceived as her ‘motherly’ type of leadership, the nickname has also taken on a derogatory dimension, especially when uttered by those on the political right criticising her allegedly emotion-driven decision to let (Muslim) immigrants into the country.
The building of the mosque, which is affiliated with the local Aymadiyya community, had already witnessed unrest in the past: in November 2013, five bloody pig’s heads had been displayed on spikes on the construction site. Leipzig itself has witnessed a series of violent clashes in recent months, pitting various far-right demonstrators (Pegida’s more radical Leipzig branch ‘Legida’, as well as neo-Nazi groups) against the city’s large left-wing and far-left scene.