The mayor of Venice, Italy, is raising some eyebrows after reportedly instructing police to shoot anyone who “shouts Allahu Akbar in St. Mark’s Square,” one of the city’s famous and highly frequented locations.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro discussed the policy at a think tank meeting this summer, according to The Sun.
“Anyone who shouts Allahu Akbar in St. Mark’s Square can expect to be gunned down by snipers within four paces,” he said. “We need to increase our security when it comes to terrorism. We had four would be terrorists arrested in Venice a few months ago who wanted to blow up the Rialto bridge.”
“Allahu Akbar” is Arabic for “Allah is the greatest.” It is a common Islamic phrase that has found its way into media headlines in recent years as it is sometimes shouted before terror attacks.
And Brugnaro wasn’t done there. He contrasted Venice with the recently attacked city of Barcelona, saying that the former is more protected and will keep its “guard up.”
“They said they wanted to go and meet Allah so we will send them straight to Allah without having to throw them off the bridge, we will just shoot them,” he said, adding that he’s never been politically correct.
This is not the first time Brugnaro has fanned the flames of controversy, as he said he would ban gay pride processions back in 2015, and he removed kids books about same-sex parents from the city’s libraries, The Times reported.