Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has ordered police to keep a closer watch on Muslim community centres after a stabbing incident in Rome with alleged anti-Christian connotations.
Police on Tuesday said that there was a row at the weekend between two homeless men near Termini train station, in which a Moroccan attacked a Georgian.
According to police, the victim told investigators that his attacker stabbed him in the neck after seeing him wear a crucifix necklace and calling him a “fucking Italian Catholic.’’
In response, Salvini urged more “controls and monitoring of meeting places for Muslim citizens, to prevent any kind of violence against innocent citizens.’’
His reaction was dismissed as “irresponsible’’ by Lia Quartapelle, a lawmaker for the opposition Democratic Party, as she noted that authorities were still not sure about the incident.
The ANSA news agency said the Moroccan man was being treated as a suspect in an attempted murder case, with religious hatred as a possible aggravating circumstance.
However, ANSA also reported that investigators were verifying the victim’s version of events, amid suspicions that the attack may not have been religiously motivated.
Salvini, who led the anti-immigration, far-right League party, has a tendency to give publicity to crimes committed by migrants or Muslims.
He also has a political interest in shedding bad light on Rome’s law-and-order situation, amid rising tensions within Italy’s ruling populist coalition.
Rome is governed by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), which also holds national power with Salvini’s League party, save for an increasingly fractious alliance. (dpa/NAN)