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Mosque protesters to stage another pork feast

Jan. 31, 2023 - 17:06 By Lim Jae-seong
Residents of Daehyeon-dong, Daegu, cook a whole pig near construction site in opposition to the construction of a mosque in the neighborhood, December. (Yonhap)

Residents of Daehyeon-dong, Daegu opposing the construction of a mosque in the area will hold another “meat feast” on Thursday, despite the Supreme Court's earlier ruling that enabled the project to continue.

The “Daegu Anti-Mosque Committee,” residents against a mosque in their neighborhood, said Monday they will hold a protest where they will consume boiled pork and beef soup.

The town adjacent to Kyungpook National University became a hot spot for conflict after the construction of a mosque was approved by the local authorities in 2020.

After the project became a point of contention, the Daegu Buk-gu office issued an administrative order halting the construction, but the order was retracted after the Supreme Court ruled in September that the project was legal.

But the conflict has continued with the anti-mosque committee roasting a pig in the allyway to the construction site and a student was fined 300,000 won ($244) for pushing a resident discarding a banner supporting the construction in October.

At the last “pork party” in December, the anti-mosque committee claimed “We are just sharing our food with neighbors. If the landlords want us to respect their culture, our culture should also be respected.”

Daegu's Buk-gu office has attempted to intervene, with little results. The office has offered to purchase properties near the mosque, and proposed two alternative sites for the mosque. The anti-mosque committee plans to announce its position on the purchase offer on Thursday, while the owners of the land on which the mosque is being built have rejected the idea of alternative sites.

Experts and civic groups have voiced concerns over the sharpening conflict surrounding the mosque construction.

“An attitude of admitting difference is needed between both parties. The state should also play a more active mediating role, thereby preventing either party from going too extreme,” said Professor Chung Yong-kyo of Yeungnam University in an interview with local media.