A PIG’S trotter was hung up in a Islamophobic protest against plans for a new Muslim community centre.

It is believed the decaying trotter was chosen to cause maximum shock as Muslims do not eat pork.

But residents living near the site in Seaford responded with disgust – and replaced it with a “welcome to your new home” card and a bunch of flowers.

Councillors and religious leaders have also rallied to insist the town is an inclusive and welcoming place.

Joe Meyer, 70, said he felt “totally disgusted” upon seeing the trotter tied to the door of the building in Little Place Lane.

It was next to a notification of a planning application to change the use of the property to a place of worship.

He said: “Everyone I’ve spoken to was equally disgusted.

“We don’t do this in Seaford.

“I’m Jewish and 50 years ago, this could have happened to my place of worship.”

Mr Meyer contacted the police and the council.

Lewes District Council officer Toby Collins, who cut down the trotter, said: “I thought, I don’t want to give those people the satisfaction.”

The following day, Wednesday, a bunch of flowers had appeared on the gate, with a card in which was written “Welcome Home” in English, Latin and Hebrew.

Charlie Christie, administrator of St Leonard’s Parish Church opposite the proposed community centre, said: “It’s awful isn’t it. What a horrible thing to do.

“What difference does it make who worships where? I’m so glad it’s been removed and now it’s flowers.”

Bill Bovington, Lewes district councillor for the ward in which the property lies, said: “I’m very, very shocked.

“I’ve always found that people in Seaford are very tolerant.

“I like what’s now happened – that’s the sort of people you get in Seaford.”

Shahadat Ali, who applied for the change of use, explained the small Muslim community in the town had been conducting Friday prayers in a rented room of a nearby clubhouse for 15 years and wanted a place of their own.

The property will not be a mosque but a community centre.

Mr Ali, who has lived in Seaford since 1985, said: “Some people will have feelings and will have ways of expressing themselves but this small thing will not affect our positivity.

“It’s so nice what’s now happened. I’m really happy. I still feel welcome here.”

Sussex Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime after it was discovered last Tuesday.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said the “unpleasant and offensive incident is being treated as a hate crime and local enquiries are being carried out” since the discovery.

Anyone with information can call 101.