‘Allahu Akbar’ calls at Munich memorial trigger angry reaction

A man prays beside flowers laid in front of the Olympia shopping mall, where yesterday's shooting rampage started, in Munich, Germany July 23, 2016. © Arnd Wiegmann
Cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’ caused uproar during a commemoration for victims of last week’s shooting at a Munich shopping mall. Nine people were killed by a German-Iranian at the Olympia mall on July 22, with officials indicating a pre-planned attack.

The altercation at the scene of the shooting – where crowds have been paying their respects – was captured on camera and published by Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano.

In the footage, a young Muslim expresses his outrage over the “unjust world.” Il Fatto Quotidiano reports the young man was part of a group who lost friends in the attack.

VIDEO EMBED (Caution: Strong language) 

“Open up your eyes, the world is not that perfect, open up your eyes,” the man is seen shouting, before being hugged by a bystander.

However, the mood changes after cries of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) are heard at the gathering. The outlet says the shouts came from the very same group of young Muslims that had before expressed their outrage over the shooting. 

It is not clear from the video as to who exactly chanted the words.

Last week German media, citing an eyewitness, reported that the Munich mall attacker also shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the assault. German authorities neither confirmed nor denied the allegation.

“You are doing an IS [Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL] sign. Look, he is doing an IS sign,” one man is heard shouting in the video. The angle of the footage does not however give a proper view as to what, if any, gestures are being made or who exactly makes them.

The calls of “Allahu Akbar” immediately cause a furor among a group of German males, who then respond by saying, “Shut up with that 'Allahu Akbar' s**t, f**k you, mother f***er.”

This reaction prompts someone from the gathering to try and calm the situation. “Have respect, it’s a commemoration. We have lost our countrymen here,” the voice is heard saying, apparently coming from the group of young Muslims. At least three of the victims in the Munich shooting were of Turkish origin.

“Allahu Akbar” is then chanted several more times, triggering another angry response from the German men. Some of them question why the police are not intervening in the altercation.

“Where are the police, where are the police?” a man is seen shouting. Officers in riot gear then appear at the scene and try to separate the lines of people. No arrests were made.

The Bavarian crime office carried out a search of the Munich shooter’s home last week, finding materials consistent with the theory that the 18-year-old attacker, David Sonboly, had been planning the assault for a whole year prior to the act.

Germany is still reeling from five attacks that hit the country in just over a week. In two of the cases, police are checking whether they were inspired or in any way linked to Islamist terrorism.