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The city of “brotherly love” apparently isn’t putting out the welcoming mat for the Al Aqsa Islamic Society, on Germantown Avenue near Jefferson Street, after Philadelphia police, the FBI, and the city’s Human Relations Commission launched investigations Monday after a worker at a North Philadelphia mosque found a severed pig’s head outside its door.

Surveillance video outside the mosque showed a red pickup truck passing the building twice just before 11 p.m. Sunday. The second pass someone from the passenger window tossed something that rolled to a stop near the mosque’s front door.

Police Officer Pete Berndlmaier of the 26th District, who gathered information at the scene acknowledged; "We've got to be involved, if they get away doing something like that, they are going to up the ante."

Rue Landau, executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, said the incident could be a violation of the city's ordinance on ethnic intimidation and institutional vandalism.

However Lt. John Stanford, spokesman for Philadelphia police, said officers would try to determine if charges are warranted. "Obviously, people shouldn't be leaving pigs at houses of worship," he said.

Incidents like this have been few, which simply demonstrate that most people understand the difference between radical Muslims and those Muslims who claim to be moderate. However if those “moderate Muslims” would stand up as a group and publicly denounce radical extremism, it would send a powerful message to those extremists.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer



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