Two Polish men wearing dark uniforms threw bacon at Muslims as they prepared for evening prayers at the Al-Rahman Mosque in Camden, UK, on Sunday.
After tossing the meat at mosque attendees, Mateusz Pawlikowski and Piotr Czak-Zukowski also threw bacon, a forbidden food in Islam, at the shoe rack, with some landing in a shoe. Authorities, concerned over their safety, have taken both men into custody.
The two men originally fled the scene after confronted by mosque attendees, with police arriving soon after to clean the mess and keep an overnight watch. Pawlikowski and Zukowski were later arrested for inciting racial hatred.
The Mirror quoted prosecutor Zahid Hussain saying that the two men crossed those boundaries when they drunkenly assailed the mosque. “Sadly, these two men in this case have breached these boundaries. This is hate crime at the very top level. It is Islamophobia…The two defendants have committed acts which were grossly offensive and deeply hateful to a large section of the community.”
In 2015 Camden news outlets reported an uptick in religious and race-based crime, rising from 422 in 2014, to 531 incidents. Community Safety Cabinet Member Councillor Jonathan Simpson said at the time, “This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a rise of incidents but that people are more confident in coming forward which is the first step to making Camden a borough which is ‘No Place for Hate.'”