There have now been many incidents in which pigs’ heads were buried in mosque construction sites in an attempt to stop the mosque being built. Knowledge of this technique is now widespread in the anti-Islam resistance movement throughout Europe.
But are there any instances where it has successfully stopped the construction of a mosque? In short: no. The claim that the soil is defiled by the presence of a pig and can thereafter no longer be used for Islamic worship seems to be based on wishful thinking, ignorance of Islamic doctrine and misinterpretation of one individual case.
The case in question was the proposed construction of a mosque in Los Bermejales district in Seville and then its follow-up project in the San Jerónimo district of Seville.
It was probably this that was being referred to by an anti-Islam group in Switzerland when a pig’s head was buried in the grounds of a proposed mosque there, accompanied by a written statement claiming that a mosque construction project had been halted in Spain in this way.
This project got off the ground in 2004 and immediately provoked strong local opposition. While the local government was keen to cooperate with the plan, handing over publicly owned land for free to the project’s backers, thousands of locals mobilised and protested against it.
In 2005 a pig was slaughtered on the grounds of the intended construction site. The saga continued for many years afterwards, however, finally being brought to an end through legal action when a court ruled that it was unlawful for the local government to simply hand over public land for religious purposes free of charge.
The construction project collapsed, but only because of massive local opposition and legal action to oppose the initiative. Burying the pig’s head had nothing to do with it.
After the mosque project foundered in the district of Los Bermejales, new plans were made to build a mosque in the San Jerónimo district of Seville. Like the earlier initiative, this provoked massive opposition from locals.
A pig’s head was also buried in the proposed construction site here.
But all of this failed to halt the initiative. In the end, the mosque construction was indeed stopped, but only because the backers couldn’t secure the property deals they needed to allow it to go forward, mainly due to pressure on the property owners from local people
So trying to stop a mosque by buring a pig’s head would seem to be an unsound strategy. It may serve some value by crystallising and publicly dramatising local resistance to Islam but its practical value seems to be close to nil.
But maybe there’s something I’ve missed. So let me ask: does anyone know of a single instance where the burying-a-pig’s-head technique worked?