Three people involved with defacing a Scottish mosque by wrapping strips of bacon around its door handles have been sent to jail.
18-year-old Chelsea Lambie and 39-year-old Douglas Cruikshank were sentenced to one year in prison and nine months in prison, respectively, for their involving in the insensitive act that took place on January 31 of last year. A third person, Wayne Stilwel, was sentenced to 10 months in jail last August after pleading guilty.
Reports say that after arresting the suspects, police discovered texts on Lambie’s phone that proved she was involved, despite her claims that she was at her boyfriend’s house during the incident.
“Going to invade a mosque, because we can go where we want,” read one text.
“Went to the mosque in Edinburgh and wrapped bacon round the door handles, opened the door and threw it in ha ha ha,” read another.
Like Stilwel, Cruikshank pleaded guilty, but Lambie wound up being found guilty by a jury, which appears to have resulted in a longer prison term for her. Usman Mahmood, a security guard at the mosque, explained during the court proceedings why the Muslim people found the actions offensive.
“I was surprised if a person did it for a joke,” said Mahmood. “It is against our culture and religion. We do not eat pork or even touch it. I felt very bad seeing this meat in my sacred place. It hurt my feelings when I saw this meat hanging inside the mosque in the worshipping area. It was very disturbing."
Prosecutor John Logue says that he hopes the outcome will show others that they can’t get away with racist and bigoted actions.
“The Muslim community are a valued and integral part of Scottish society and there is no place for such attacks in modern Scotland,” said Logue. “As we strive to become a fairer and more tolerant society to live in we will not let it be blighted by a narrow minded and hateful minority. Prejudice and bigotry have a corrosive effect on our nation and we will maintain our zero-tolerance approach towards such crimes which will continue to be investigated carefully and prosecuted robustly.”