Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro said that shouting ‘Allahy Akbar’ in the city will get you shot. Anyone saying the now infamous words in the famous St. Mark square in the center of Venice will be shot after ‘three steps’ Brugnaro explained.
His comments came after a series of bloody terrorist attacks across Europe, the most recent being in Barcelona, when a van drove into crowds in the popular La Rambla street, killing 14 and injuring more than 100.
“If someone shouts Allahu Akbar while running through St Mark’s Square, we’ll shoot them. A year ago, I said after four steps, now I’m saying after three,” Brugnaro said, according to Italian paper Corriere Della Sera.
“We arrested four terrorists in Venice who wanted to blow up the Rialto Bridge. But we will send them directly to Allah without having to do any harm before,” he added.
“Unlike in Barcelona, where they did not have the protections, we keep our guard high. We do not challenge anyone. We are sending a message of support to the police forces who must know that we are on their side”, Brugnaro concluded.
Reacting to his remarks, the mayor or Florence burst in the conference room shouting “Allahu Akbar,” with Brugnaro and other delegates laughing.
Brugnaro’s statement was met with controversy, but he defended his stance. “I have never been politically correct, I am incorrect. I would shoot, we would shoot”, he said at a conference.
Unlike other Western European countries, Italy has not seen large scale terrorist attacks, but many Italian cities installed concrete barriers in their famous sites. Italy is one of the most popular tourist destination in the world, and the authorities fear this may cause the country to be targeted by terrorist groups.