Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has condemned the nailing of a pig’s head to the door of a planned Islamic school, Civil.ge reports.
In an 11 September statement, Garibashvili slammed the “attempt of religious intolerance and confrontation on religious grounds” that he said aimed to destabilize a country known for religious tolerance. He pledged swift action.
“I want to reassure the Muslim community that we will spare no effort to defend their interests. [The] culprits will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
On 10 September, the pig’s head was found nailed to a building expected to house a madrasa in the city of Kobuleti in the Adjara region bordering Turkey, EurasiaNet.org reports. Those responsible, reportedly members of a Georgian Orthodox Church congregation, said they wanted to prevent the spread of Islam in their neighborhood.
Although Georgia is predominantly Orthodox Christian, many Muslims live in Adjara, and nationwide Muslims account for 10 percent to 13 percent of the population of nearly 4.5 million. The Muslim community condemned the act.
In 2012, conflict broke out in two other Georgian villages over the Muslim communities’ plan to build mosques there.
This article was originally published on Transitions Online.