Skip to comments.Muslims irked by Italian senator's "pig" comments
Posted on 09/13/2007 1:27:45 PM PDT by knighthawk
ROME (Reuters) - A far-right Italian senator outraged Muslims on Thursday by calling for a "Pig Day" protest against the planned construction of a mosque in northern Italy.
Roberto Calderoli of the anti-immigrant Northern League party said he was ready to bring his own pig to "defile" the site where the mosque is due to be built in the northern city of Bologna.
"I am making myself and my pig available for a walk at the site where they want to build the mosque," Calderoli, who is a deputy speaker of Italy's Senate, said in a statement.
Calderoli also said he would eat "a nice plateful of pork chops to show my lack of sympathy for those who consider pork forbidden meat."
Muslims do not eat pork and consider pigs and their meat too filthy to touch.
"Those words are highly offensive and indecent, especially as they are coming from an Italian lawmaker," Mario Scialoja, a prominent leader of Italy's Muslim community, told Reuters. "It left me speechless".
Tensions flare regularly between communities in predominantly Catholic Italy over the site of new mosques to serve a growing Muslim population.
On Wednesday night, around 20 people staged a protest near the port city of Genoa over the planned construction of a mosque which they said would be offensive because it is near a church.
The protesters, including a priest suspended from the church, prayed the rosary -- which consists of the "Our Father", "Hail Mary" and "Glory Be" prayers read repeatedly -- despite a call by the country's most senior Roman Catholic bishop not to do so.
In December 2006, protesters left a severed pig's head outside a mosque being built in Tuscany.
In July, police arrested an imam on suspicion of leading a terrorism "training school" in a mosque in central Italy.
After that arrest, the Northern League called for all existing mosques -- most in old garages or converted factories and warehouses -- to be closed for security checks.
Calderoli is no stranger to controversy over Islam and is often accused of making racist comments.
Last year, he lost a ministerial post in a centre-right government led by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for wearing a T-shirt with cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad offensive to Muslims.
If people want on or off this list, please let me know.
This guy and Berlusconi have huge brass ‘coglioni’.
Ex- minister in fresh Islam row
Calderoli calls for ‘pig day’ against new mosques
(ANSA) - Rome, September 13 - An opposition ex-minister who stoked international Muslim anger a year ago fired off a fresh broadside at Islam on Thursday by calling for a ‘pig day’ battle against mosque building on Italian soil. Northern League heavyweight Roberto Calderoli, who was reform minister under the previous, Silvio Berlusconi-led government and is now deputy Senate speaker, said pigs should be brought in to thwart plans for the construction of a major mosque in Bologna.
“I place myself and my pig at the disposal of those who are against this mosque. We will walk up and down on the land where they want to build, after which it will be considered ‘infected’ and no longer suitable,” Calderoli said.
He said he had used the same tactic with success in another northern city, Lodi.
“In future, we should organise a ‘pig day’ where the best pigs will be kept in places where they are thinking of putting up buildings which are not places of worship but potential centres for harbouring terrorist cells,” he said.
Calderoli also said he would deliberately eat pork on Thursday to “annoy” Muslims beginning their month-long Ramadan fast.
Welfare Minister Paolo Ferrero immediately condemned Calderoli’s comments.
“I apologise on behalf of all civilised Italians to Muslims living in Italy,” Ferrero said.
In February 2006, Calderoli was forced to quit as reform minister after he sported a T-shirt emblazoned with the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad which at the time were causing a wave of international Muslim protests.
Calderoli’s act was followed by violent demonstrations in Libya in which the Italian consulate in Benghazi was attacked. Some 15 people were killed after local police opened fire on a crowd trying to storm the consulate.
Calderoli’s populist Northern League party has frequently caused polemics with intolerant stances against Muslims and immigrants in general.
In the wake of the September 2001 terror attacks on the US, the party demanded that mosques and Islamic centres be shut down and Italy’s frontiers closed to Muslims.
More recently, a League member called for the expulsion of Muslim immigrants who could not be ‘vouched for’ by an Italian citizen. The party has also spearheaded campaigns to ban burkas and veils in public.
ANTI-MOSQUE BATTLE HEATS UP.
Bologna’s mosque would be built on the outskirts of the city to replace an old one which is now too small for the local Muslim population.
The Northern League and other critics have fought the project from the start, calling for a referendum and organising other forms of protest such as a bid to buy the land on which the mosque is to be built.
A similiar campaign is being waged in Genoa, where local members of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party joined forces with far-right militants on Wednesday night to recite an “anti-mosque rosary”.
The protesters prayed to the Virgin Mary for her “help in illuminating the minds of local councillors” in favour of the mosque.
Top Forza Italia MP Isabella Bertolini said on Thursday that “the proliferation of mosques and Koranic schools in Italy must be stopped immediately, starting with Bologna. Our land is contaminated with thousands of these dangerous spreading cancers which are centres for recruiting fanatics to be martyred in the holy war which Islam is waging against the West”.
Interior Minister Giuliano Amato slammed the mosque critics, saying that their comments left him “bitter and worried”.
“Nowhere else in the world does such an attitude to Muslims prevail, not even in countries which have been directly affected by fundamentalist terrorism,” he said.
He blamed fear and prejudice for the phenomenon.
“This fear is typical of closed and ageing populations for whom diversity in itself is a threat... and it is combined with a cultural predisposition, opinions which have hardened into prejudices,” Amato said.
The minister also issued an open letter to Muslim residents to mark the start of Ramadan in which he stressed that “Italy recognises and guarantees religious freedom and has a positive view of the role faith can play in individual growth and the development of social harmony.
“We look with respect on this month of fasting, prayer and reflection in the hope that the true spirituality expressed by Ramadan may be confirmed in sentiments of peace and solidarity and the desire for dialogue and harmony”.
According to an annual survey carried out in five top Italian cities - Milan, Rome, Bologna, Palermo and Naples - fear of Muslim immigrants is on the rise.
The survey showed that 28% approved of building new mosques, compared to 49% in 2006 and 61% in 2005.
Almost 30% of respondents said they were against the centres because they viewed Islam as a dangerous religion while 24% said they fomented terrorism.
Only 28% said they favoured giving the vote to legally resident immigrants against 51% in 2006 and 63% in 2005.
A quarter of respondents admitted that they were more afraid of Muslim immigrants now than they were a year ago.
I like this guy already.
I wonder if those same “outraged” Muslims were outraged when their brothers murdered that Italian nun in Somalia last year.
You mean to tell me Islamofacists will vanquished by swine ? Let me introduce you to my little fat friends .
Just what is bologna made out of anyway, and how did it get its name? Brooke
San Diego, California
My bologna has a first name, it's... oh, sorry, we got carried away by a wave of childhood nostalgia. But a few searches on "bologna meat," "bologna meat history," and "bologna recipe" turned up some tasty answers to your questions.
Bologna is a cooked, smoked sausage made of cured beef, pork, or a mixture of the two. A typical recipe for this sausage uses seasonings such as salt, sugar, pepper, and spices, plus a curing mixture that includes sodium nitrite to prevent botulism. While beef and pork are the most traditional bologna meats, exotic fare such as moose and venison can even be used. Small boutique bologna makers tend to use choice cuts of meat, but large manufacturers may use almost any part of the carcass, including organ meats, trimmings, and end pieces from other meat processing...
This is outrageous. Why didn’t we think of it?
Yes, but Calderoli is an honest man, and the Lega Nord is the only political party with any integrity in Italy. Berlusconi is but a step up from Larry Flynt.
Pig Day? Dang but that’s a good idea. The Italians get it. We need to have pig parades in Detroit.
Separate Norse Gods and State!
Eye-talians do love their pork products.
Muslims are in a permanent state of Irk.
Change the name of the football or baseball teams............
My bolgna has a first name-it’s A-h-m-e-d....
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