Muslim Migrant Torches Church Nativity Scene, Says He Wants to Destroy Christian Symbols

Reuters

At least one Muslim migrant in Italy shares one thing in common with the devil: They both hate Christian symbols and want to destroy them.

The unnamed 25-year-old homeless Muslim migrant originally from Gambia was arrested for setting fire to a Nativity scene in the parish of Madonna del Rosario in Foggia, southern Italy, on Monday, the Daily Express reported.

The church's priest caught the man in the act of torching the Nativity scene showing the infant Jesus in the manger with Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the three wise men, and the animals.

The priest quickly notified the police who rushed to the scene and restrained the man after a brief struggle. He was later charged with damage to private property, arson and resisting arrest.

A local official was quoted as saying that the arrested suspect was suffering from a "visible psycho-physical crisis."

The man told police he was a Muslim and wanted to destroy Christian symbols, local reports said. He said he had already destroyed a statue of Mary before he began burning the Nativity display.

The man, who holds a legal residency permit, has been living in Italy for two years.

The church arson attack took place just days after an asylum seeker stormed a children's Nativity play in Austria, terrifying toddlers and parents watching the show, especially after he shouted that he would kill unbelievers, the Daily Express also reported.

The refugee, who was of Somali descent, suddenly leapt on stage and took out a copy of the Quran from his rucksack and started preaching.

The 24-year-old asylum seeker, who was wearing a white robe, was eventually overpowered by a number of men, including his two brothers, while shouting "Allahu Akbar."

Witnesses said the people watching the play were horrified, thinking it was a prelude to a terrorist attack or a massacre. They thought the man was carrying weapons in his rucksack. But authorities later found out the bag only contained clothes.

Police said the Somali native had been living in the area for two years and that he suffered from manic depression, for which he is receiving treatment.

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