Jon Rogers, Express, December 21, 2016
A nativity play was turned into chaos after an asylum seeker stormed the stage and started preaching from the Koran.
The Somali asylum seeker suddenly leapt on stage during the traditional depiction of the Christian story in the Austrian town of Oberndorf near Schwanenstadt in the state of Upper Austria, causing horror and upset amongst the children and parents.
At first, no one had reacted when the asylum seeker came to the venue and stood next to the stage where children of nursery school age were performing.
The asylum seeker suddenly leapt on stage, took out a copy of the Koran from his rucksack and started preaching.
The 24-year-old, who was wearing a white robe, was eventually overpowered by a number of men, including two brothers, while he was shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
A witness said: “The children are totally anxious and petrified, we were terribly afraid for our children.”
Witnesses were afraid that some weapons might be hidden in his rucksack though it later proved to contain nothing but clothes.
One witness said: “You never know what his intentions are.”
Police officers who rushed to the scene recognised the Somali as someone who had been living in the area for two years.
They said he suffered from manic depression, for which he is receiving treatment.
Local media reported that the man had appeared to be “confused”.
Mayor Rupert Imlinger said: ““Many thought that the man was part of the theatre.
“The man is a Somalian from the neighbouring community, I have never seen him before.”