May 26, 2023
KOBE CITY, Japan—An unemployed African migrant from the Republic of Gambia savagely vandalized a Shinto shrine in Kobe City, Japan on May 3 around 9:30 a.m.
Surveillance footage showed 29-year-old Mamadou Balde clad in yellow garb walking into Mizuoka Hachiman Shrine. He quickly started kicking and smashing items at an offertory box.
Another security camera filmed the unemployed Gambian citizen tearing off a bamboo tube from the chozuya (a place where you cleanse your hands), and slamming a wooden box on top of another offertory box, according to MBS News.
The unemployed migrant was arrested a short time later.
“It’s a shame, that’s all I can say,” the chief priest told MBS News.
外国人のイスラム教徒が神社で賽銭箱を蹴り竹筒を引きちぎる「神様はアッラーしかいない」 pic.twitter.com/XQ48CAfkRN— 🇯🇵国士 (@Lu1vunH6iqICRY3) May 23, 2023
“I heard that a woman who was praying at the time was told, ‘Don’t pray here because there is no god here, because there is only Allah, the god of Islam.”
When asked for a comment, Balde replied, “I have nothing to say because I was arrested illegally.”
Angry Japanese netizens were quick to slam Balde for his actions. One netizen wrote: “He comes to our country for work and now believes his ways are superior to our own. Let’s send [him] back to where he came from.”
Balde currently resides in Tarumi Ward. He will most likely be deported for his actions since he’s not a Japanese citizen.
Feature Screenshots via Twitter