A man tried to buy pigs’ heads and trotters from a Leeds butcher because he wanted to “desecrate as many mosques as possible”.
The case is one of a growing number of Islamophobic incidents being reported in the wake of atrocities like the Paris terror attacks.
Kauser Jan, chair of the Leeds Muslim Community Safety Forum, referred to the incident at an event aimed at tackling anti-Muslim crimes held at the Hamara Centre in Beeston yesterday.
She said: “I was contacted by a councillor who had been called by a butcher in Armley.
“He said a smartly-dressed man had walked in and said he wanted to buy all the pigs’ heads and feet that he could.
“When the butcher asked him why he said ‘Because I want to desecrate as many mosques as possible’.
“The scary thing now is that these kind of people don’t fit the archetypal description of people we think of as racists.”
Attendees at yesterday’s event were told that the number of hate crimes committed against Muslims that were being reported to West Yorkshire Police had risen sharply. There were 75 in the five months between June and November, compared with 40 in the previous eight months.
The next highest figures were for Jewish victims, who reported a total of seven incidents in the last five months.
Ms Jan said the community safety forum was getting increasing reports from young Muslim women who had been targeted while wearing traditional headscarves.
But she said some were failing to report incidents to police because they believed such attacks were to be expected.
Ms Jan said: “There are more and more cases of women coming forward. They are an obvious target because of the headscarves they wear.
“I’m getting women coming to me saying they are scared to leave their house in their hijab.
“I asked one woman if she had reported an incident to police and she said she didn’t because it was just a sign of the times. They think it’s just something they have to accept.”
In one recent incident a woman was targeted as she walked along Harehills Lane in Harehills by a group of men in a car who pulled over and ordered her to take off her headscarf and “get back to her own country”.
In another case a woman who had travelled to London from Leeds reported being abused by a gang of men on an underground train.
However, it is thought the vast majority of hate crimes continue to go unreported.
Rose Simkins, chief executive of Stop Hate UK, said: “We can’t begin to tackle this problem unless we know the size of the problem.”