Featured image via
At the Grand Rex Cinema in Paris, a screening of Joker was sent into chaos when a man shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’
The 9:30 showing started to go downhill when then man began by loudly complaining ‘It’s political’, causing other patrons to shush him. Then, witnesses say he stood up, put his hands on his chest and shouted, ‘Allahu akbar.’
‘Allahu akbar’ is Arabic for ‘God is greatest’, which, whilst used formally in Muslim prayer and informally in religious exclamation, is most known to non-Muslims as a kind of battle cry of Muslim extremism and terrorism.
Therefore, the cinema was sent into chaos at these words. The media frenzy over the Joker movie can’t have helped, with reports of possible violence and shootings. One patron did yell that the man had a gun, though this was later disproved.
People were claimed to be clambering over seats and running for the exits. Some fell to the ground and were trampled by others desperate to get out. There was crying and a mother looking for her daughter.
Some brave audience members and a security guard ran to the man and held him down, detaining him for the police. However, the man managed to escape. The police caught him outside the cinema and detained him.
The police found no weapons or explosives on him. It turns out he was a 34 year-old man from the suburb of Paris, Boulogne-Billancourt. It appears that the stunt was a robbery attempt. He had an accomplice with him, and the two of them had attempted something like this on a train before.
The plan was to cause the chaos in order to empty the cinema. Then, they would take people’s bags and phones. It seems he wasn’t expecting to be tackled by other audience members.