Tourists in Prague’s Old Town Square were in for a shock yesterday afternoon when armed men dressed in Islamic garments and military camouflage, shouting “Allahu Akbar” and carrying ISIS flags, marched into Old Town Square.
But the guns, and the beards, were fake.
It was staged event from anti-Islam provocateur Martin Konvička to depict “what life in the Czech Republic would look like under Muslim rule.”
Along with a jeep full of actors playing Islamic extremists, the group also marched a camel and a goat (wearing an “Erotic City” banner, no less) into the Square shortly after 14:00.
According to the organizer, an outspoken opponent of Islam, the event was a success.
“I think it went very well,” Konvička said afterwards, as reported by iDnes.cz.
“The aim of the event should be shock. The scenario and replica weapons were agreed beforehand with the city.”
#Konvička žádného uprchlíka na svou demonstraci nenašel, tak mu nezbylo než se za něj sám vydávat.
Foto: P. Malina pic.twitter.com/BoS5dT8BBZ
— Tilwaen (@Tilwaen) August 21, 2016
But multiple witnesses described a different scene, one in which panic quickly spread among onlookers who didn’t realize this was a staged piece of fiction.
“Suddenly fifteen to twenty people came running here,” a staff member from Hotel Emblem told iDnes.cz. “They ran up, down, and into the toilet. Some had children with them. At that point we called the police to see what was happening.”
“I was coming out of Pařížská and I saw people in turbans,” said an unnamed witness. “Then suddenly people started to run in all directions. I saw a lady who started crying, shaking; she had been in shock.”
Police were quick to intervene and cut the event short. While the group is currently being investigated for scaremongering, most are simply aghast that something like this was staged in the first place.
“They were lucky that no one there was armed,” commented a police spokesperson.