HOUSTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Authorities say they are trying to determine who left a dead pig outside a Muslim mosque in suburban Houston and why.
Worshipers found the bloody carcass on a wooden deck when they arrived for nightly prayers Tuesday at the Islamic Outreach Center in Cypress, the Houston Chronicle reported. They also found blood stains near the door and intestines that may have come from the pig hanging from a front gate.
Officials of the mosque, which opened in July, said Wednesday it could be an act of hate. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said that's a possibility but is awaiting the outcome of his office's investigation before reaching a decision, the newspaper said.
Eating pork is forbidden by the Islamic faith. Muslim officials say pigs have sometimes been used as a symbol against Muslims.
Islamic Outreach Center imam Fahad Tasleem said the congregation has tried to reach out to neighbors in an attempt to develop good relations with neighbors.
"For the most part, there hasn't been any real negative reaction," he said.
But at least one nearby resident expressed displeasure with the construction of the mosque, citing noise and traffic, and contended it hurts property values.
"They have no respect for anyone else's feelings," Bobbie Schroeder, 78, told the Chronicle.