VARSOVIE : Vandals have defaced a mosque in a Tatar region of eastern Poland with graffiti, a local community leader said Sunday.

‘On the eastern side you see a pig - an insulting symbol for our community and our religion - and other insults,’ Bronislaw Talkowski, the president of the Tatar community in the village, told a local radio station. The wooden mosque is in an old Muslim cemetery in the village of Kruszyniany in the east of the country, near the border with Belarus.

‘It is hard to say who is behind it but it is certainly an organised group,’ Talkowski added. The provincial governor of regional capital Bialystok, Maciej Zywno, condemned what he called an ‘idiotic act’, and said the police had launched an investigation to find out who was behind the damage.

One line of inquiry is over whether the attack was linked to a row over types of ritual slaughter used by the Jewish and Muslim communities, which have been banned since January, with a new vote in parliament and a constitutional court hearing on the issue due shortly. ‘We have been collecting information about mosque incidents for some time, and here is our partial list.  If you know about other incidents, please contact us with the information.’