Nottingham Crown Court heard that Sher Ahmadzai, 20, hit his victim with a metre-long plank, causing him to fall over during the attack in Radford.
Another man then started punching and kicking the fallen man in the face.
The victim escaped without serious injury but was left with a sore jaw and leg pain.
The court heard Ahmadzai knew his victim and both were members of the Afghan community.
The man was of Muslim faith but converted to Christianity after claiming asylum here.
"This did not sit well with the defendant," said prosecutor Paul Stimson.
"That culminated in the assault in October last year in Hartley Road."
When police questioned Ahmadzai, of Magdala Road, Mapperley, he said there had been a feud but would not elaborate.
He did not admit any cultural or religious motivation, the court heard.
He admitted assault causing actual harm and a separate offence of arson.
The court heard that Ahmadzai set fire to a partner's garden fence twice in an hour in the same month.
Fire crews attended the woman's home and put out the first blaze but within an hour Ahmadzai had gone back and started the fire again. This time, the blaze was more serious and spread to a neighbouring fence but was eventually brought under control.
CCTV captured Ahmadzai buying petrol at the Total petrol station in Sherwood Rise at 8pm and 9pm.
Judge Michael Stokes QC gave him 12 months for the assault and nine months concurrently for the arson.
The new offences meant he was in breach of a suspended prison sentence for two offences of assault causing actual bodily harm.
The judge gave him six months for this, to run consecutively with the 12 months for the recent offences, meaning his total sentence is 18 months in custody.
In mitigation, the court was told that Ahmadzai arrived in this country from Afghanistan six years ago in search of a better life and he'd had schooling before working as a butcher at a supermarket.