The right-wing mayor of Venice has courted controversy by claiming that anyone who yells “Allahu akbar” in St Mark’s Square will be shot.
Luigi Brugnaro said that Venice was safer than Barcelona, where 13 people were killed this month when a terrorist drove a van into pedestrians.
“We keep our guard up,” he said. “If anyone runs into St Mark’s Square shouting ‘Allahu akbar’, we will take him down.
“A year ago I said after four steps, now after three. I will say it in Venetian: ‘Ghe sparemo’ [We will shoot him].”
Mr Brugnaro proudly recalled the arrest in Venice in March of four suspected Kosovan jihadists who allegedly planned to kill hundreds of tourists by blowing up the Rialto bridge.
“They wanted to go to Allah. But we’ll send them straight to Allah before they can do any damage,” he said.
After he gave his speech at a conference in Rimini, in the northeastern Emilia-Romagna region, Dario Nardella, the centre-left mayor of Florence, rushed up to Mr Brugnaro shouting ‘Allahu akbar!’ and laughing. He later apologised on Facebook for the joke.
Mr Brugnaro stuck to his guns after his speech, claiming, “I have never been politically correct, I am incorrect”.
“I would shoot, we would shoot,” he added. “If you want to kill me, maybe I will defend myself.”
Source: The Times