Vienna Govt to Hold Security Meeting After ‘Allahu Akbar’ Rioters Torched Christmas Tree

Wien X Reumannplatz Eisslaon Tichy
Johannes Maximilian/Wikimedia Commons

The Vienna government will be holding a security meeting next week following a riot in a migrant-populated district on New Year’s Eve that saw a Christmas tree set on fire by Muslims.

The rioting took place at Reumannplatz in the heavily-migrant populated Favoriten district of the Austrian capital and saw a Christmas tree set on fire by members of a group of around 40 rioters along with various shops in the area having their windows smashed.

Police president Gerhard Pürstl said Friday that the government would be meeting to discuss the incident on Tuesday but did not announce any details about the meeting, Austrian broadcaster ORF reports.


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Following the riots, several people were arrested, including a 21-year-old Syrian migrant who was taken into custody on the night of the incident. The Syrian is said to have attempted to break into a jewellery shop while using a trash can as a makeshift battering ram.

Two Austrian citizens, aged 18 and 21, were also arrested for attempted grievous bodily harm after throwing fireworks at police officers, and a 17-year-old Iraqi migrant was arrested on suspected property damage charges.

According to Austrian newspaper Heute, one of the suspects gave investigators the reason that the Christmas tree was set on fire as “A Christmas tree does not belong in a Muslim district.”

Several police officers who arrived at the scene during the riot were also attacked by the rioters, who hit them with rocks and launched fireworks at them while yelling various slogans including “Allahu Akbar!”

The National Police Directorate has stated that at least 14 property damages offences took place during the rioting, which was condemned by Austrian interior minister Karl Nehammer who called the attacks on police “absolutely unacceptable.”

The riot comes just months after far-left Kurds and their Antifa allies battled in the streets of Favoriten with the ultra-nationalist Turkish Grey Wolves.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz blamed Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for using Turks to “sow strife” as the Grey Wolves are known for their support of the Islamist leader.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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