It’s a “hate activity,” not a crime, Sacramento Police Officer Linda Matthew said on Friday after an unidentified white woman in Houston, TX, mailed a Qur’an soaked in pork fat to the Sacramento, CA, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The incident happened in June and follows two other cases of Qur’ans being defaced at nearby mosques, according to the Associated Press. But Sacramento police say they will not file charges because the lard incident does not meet a “criminal” threshold, Matthew said.
“It’s deplorable behavior by someone to do something like this, and it’s very disrespectful to their religion. But yet there’s no specific crime that’s attached to it,” she said, according to the AP. “We’re monitoring these types of instances and taking them very seriously.”
A recent report by CAIR noted that from April 1 to June 30, less than three months into the Trump administration, the council received 946 reports of “potential bias” incidents in the U.S. Of these, 451 were determined to have a clear anti-Muslim bias. Additionally, anti-Muslim hate crimes have spiked by 91% in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2016, Newsweek reported.
Hate crimes accounted for 15% of the 451 cases, CAIR said. The most likely location where reported incidents occurred was at a victim’s home. Incidents at mosques, like the ones reported last month in Sacramento, totaled 8% of the cases reported to CAIR, just behind elementary and secondary schools (9%).
The number of actual incidents likely is much higher, the council said, because many attacks go unreported.
U.S. government agencies were identified as the alleged instigator in 126 incidents, led by the FBI at 44% of reported cases, followed by Customs and Border Protection (30%), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (10%), among others.
Ruth Nasrullah, from the Houston chapter of CAIR, told KTRK News that attacks involving pork are on the rise.
“Over the Fourth of July, we got a few messages that had a photo of spare ribs and said, ‘Have some pork on us.’ While we don’t eat pork, there’s this idea that if we somehow see pork that it would be offensive,” she told KTRK.
Worse than the pork is the desecration of the Qur’an, or any holy book for that matter, she added.
“The presidential election campaign and the Trump administration have tapped into a seam of bigotry and hate that has resulted in the targeting of American Muslims and other minority groups,” Zainab Arain, from CAIR’s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia, said in a news release. “If acts of bias impacting the American Muslim community continue as they have been, 2017 could be one of the worst years ever for such incidents.”