CYPRESS, Texas - A shocking discovery was made outside a house of worship near Cypress in northwest Harris County.
On Tuesday night, several Muslims who came to pray at the Islamic Outreach Center found a dead pig on the outside deck next to the entrance of the center.
"They were surprised. They were taken aback. They never expected to see something like this," said Ilyas Choudry of the Islamic Circle of North America.
At times, a pig has been used symbolically against Muslims because their faith does not permit them to eat pork.
"We can't ignore the fact that there is an element in our society and a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment that actually does play into these types of incidents," said Mustafaa Carroll of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
While they called police, the resident Imam stopped short of publicly calling this a hate crime. He said the dead pig by itself isn't what's most concerning, it's the thought process of the person behind it.
"It's unfortunate that something like this would happen, but at the same time we can use this as a teaching moment to come out an learn about Islam," said Fahad Tasleem with Islamic Outreach Center.
He's not inviting just the neighbors, but also the person who did this. The Muslim faith, he said, is big on forgiveness.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office is investigating. Deputies will continue to gather information before making a determination on the nature of the case.
Copyright 2012 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.