…ANYONE who shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ in his city will be shot by snipers
Luigi Brugnaro claims the Italian tourist hotspot is safer than Barcelona – where 14 people died being run down by a terrorist – saying that ‘in contrast, we keep our guard up’
The phrase in Arabic for ‘God is greatest’ has been shouted in multiple terrorist incidents across the continent, but is more commonly harmlessly used by Muslims during prayers as a reminder of God’s significance in their lives.
The Times reports that mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro has reportedly decided its an unacceptable phrase to be shouted in the city’s St Marks Square.
He claimed Venice is safer than Barcelona – where 14 people died being run down by a van last week.
Speaking at a conference in Rimini, north east Italy, he further revealed the extraordinary order he has given to armed police at one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe.
Brugnaro was applauded by delegates when he said: “In contrast with Barcelona, where they had not set up protection, we keep our guard up.
“A year ago I said within four paces, now within three. I will say it in Venetian: ‘Ghe Sparemo’ (We will shoot him).”
He added: “They wanted to go to Allah. But we’ll send them straight to Allah before they can do any damage.”
(Image: Getty Images Europe)
Video has subsequently emerged of the left-wing mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, rushing up to Brugnaro after the speech shouting “Allahu Akbar!” and laughing.
He has since taken to Facebook to apologise for his actions.
Mr Nardella said: “I apologise for some comments in an online video. It was not my intention to offend anyone, not least the Muslim community, nor to joke about their religion or neither to reference the tragic events of our times.
“In fact, during that video, I distance myself from the statement (made) by my colleague Brugnaro about Muslims during his speech at the Rimini meeting.”
Last night Luigi Brugnaro added: “I have never been politically correct, in fact I am politically correct and that’s why we also need a naval blockade against people coming into Italy from north Africa.”
The phrase is first believed to have been used by the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century before going into battle.
It is mostly used by Muslims on a regular basis in a positive manner, during prayer or in moments of joy.
But in the West it has been used during a number of terror attacks, shouted by perpetrators.
The phrase appeared in notes made by the 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta found after the attack on the World Trade Center.
He wrote: “Shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers.”
The phrase was used as inspiration by the killers of Lee Rigby in London and witnesses reported hearing the attackers at the Bataclan in Paris shouting out the phrase.
Nobody from the Venice police department has commented.