The Daily Telegraph spluttered in horror. The idea, put forward in 'an ill-tempered exchange on twitter' by a Hungarian MEP 'sparked outrage and disbelief.'
Pigs and pork are impure in Islam (Qu'rān 6:145), to the extent that all contact is deemed to be both contaminating and abominating. So it is not surprising that the suggestion would be considered highly offensive.
Yet Gyorgy Schopflin, the MEP who came up with the idea is not the first to have thought of using pigs to deter and upset Muslims.
After repeated uprisings in the Spanish Philippines in the late 1800s, new tactics were needed to deal with Islamic fundamentalists - Juramentados - who swore oaths to die as martyrs while killing Christians. Those who achieved their aims were buried alongside dead pig in order to pollute their corpses.
It was a grisly practice that was adopted by some officers in the US Army at the start of the 20th century when the United States became embroiled in a war in the Philippines - and faced the same problem of how to stop and discourage those prepared to murder in the name of their faith.
One officer took to ordering crowds to gather to see the burial of dead fundamentalists and to see a pig's corpse being lowered into the pit alongside. It was a practice adopted by other officers too - because it was an effective deterrent
'These Juramentado attacks were materially reduced in number by a practice that the Mohamedans held in abhorrence', wrote General Pershing who was there at the time. 'It was not pleasant to have to take such measures, but the prospect of going to hell instead of heaven sometimes deterred the would-be assassins.'
And in fact, despite the furore about today's comments about pig's heads on Hungary's border, others have revelled in similar taunting only recently. According to Business Insider, patches bearing the image of a Crusader eating pork were hugely popular with US troops serving in Afghanistan just recently - with the text being written in Arabic for the benefit of any modern day juramentados (these days called 'jihadists) who got close enough to read.
It is worth studying history. It may not repeat itself, as Mark Twain purportedly said, but it sure does rhyme.