A Muslim man was fined £170 in Switzerland for saying “Allahu Akbar” in public when he saw his friend, local newspaper Schaffhauser Nachrichten reported.
Orhan E, 22, made the statement – which means “God is the greatest” in Arabic – last May.
Thinking it was a ‘terrorist’ attack, local police in the city of Schaffhausen stopped Orhan and charged him with causing a public nuisance.
Swiss police have defended their actions, stating that they would have reacted exactly the same if someone had been running around shouting profanities.
Orhan said he was searched by armed police after saying the words when he was surprised to bump into his friend.
He told 20 Minuten: “Suddenly, the police officer called me over, and she asked what I meant by that phrase.”
Orhan explained that he did not mean anything bad when he said “Allahu Akbar” because it is a term which Muslims use frequently as a form of praise and in prayer
He added: “I was threatened with prison if I didn’t pay the fine. I was born here and I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
Orhan was fined 150 Swiss francs (£120) and an additional 60 (£50) in costs, totalling to 210 francs (£170).
A police spokesperson said: “At the time there was a possibility that people could be scared and terrified.
“If someone’s running around the square swearing, we’ll bring them under control then too.”