A Franciscan missionary was assaulted by an Arab who repeatedly threatened to kill him, in what the victim described as an ideological attack driven by Christianophobia.
The assailant tried to seize Friar Job’s wooden cross, then smashed a bottle over the head of a waiter who came to the friar’s aid. Threatening to kill the missionary the attacker, of Moroccan origin, said “You need to be afraid of me. I’m an Arab”, and broke a glass with the intention of stabbing him.
The missionary was sitting on the terrace of a bar in Cartagena, Spain, on Tuesday evening when the assailant approached to wrest from Friar Job the wooden cross he was wearing. The missionary calmly stopped the man, walked away from him and avoided a punch the attacker threw.
Following Friar Job, the assailant launched a barrage of death threats at the missionary, among them “bastard, bastard, I’ll kill you.” The man told the friar: “You are Spanish. You need to be afraid of me. I am an Arab.” Grabbing the missionary’s shirt to tear it, the attacker continued to threaten him.
When a waiter came to Friar Job’s aid, the troublemaker smashed a glass bottle over the worker’s head. The Arab then broke a glass, and approached the missionary with one of the shards to attack him, but was stopped by two customers who had been inside the bar.
The attacker fled the scene, but the police arrived after witnesses sounded the alarm. According to police sources, the man showed signs of intoxication, and they are studying whether or not the event can be categorised as a hate crime. An eyewitness has said that the aggressor is called Mohamed, lives in the neighbourhood of San Anton and has been working at several restaurants in the town. Police have now opened an investigation to find the perpetrator.
Friar Job, who has been a missionary for four years in the Dominican Republic, stressed that the attack was driven by hatred of Christians. The friar said the man’s “intention was ideological”, based on the threats he made and his attempt to steal the missionary’s cross, which is made of wood and has no material value.
The friar, who is originally from Cartagena and was in town visiting relatives, noted that the attack was a “clear symptom of Christianophobia”. The attack came less than a week after Islamists beheaded a priest during morning mass in France.
— La Razón (@larazon_es) August 2, 2016