John Hooper in Rome
A row has broken out in Italy over the wearing of the burka after the prefect of a city in the north-east announced he was permitting it, despite legislation outlawing any clothing that stops the wearer being recognised.
The faceless face of Italy?
Vittorio Capocelli, the prefect of Treviso, near Venice, made his ruling after meeting immigrants’ representatives. He said women who sought to wear the burka for religious reasons were free to do so, but would have to reveal their features if asked to do so for the purposes of identification.
The burka covers the body from head to foot, with the exception of a small mesh at eye level.
The announcement by the prefect – the local representative of the interior ministry – also appeared to clear the way for the use of the equally controversial and more widely worn niqab, which leaves only the eyes visible.
Both garments, however, are apparently at odds with a 1975 law that bans the wearing of masks in public. It was originally introduced as part of a clampdown on terrorism and violent demonstrations.
In Treviso, moreover, the burka is the target of a specific ban. Three years ago, the city’s mayor, Giancarlo Gentilini of the anti-immigrant Northern League, said he had introduced the bylaw because the garment was “a mask that can be permitted at carnival time, but not throughout the year”.
In a front-page article in yesterday’s Corriere della Sera, the paper’s Egyptian-born deputy editor, Magdi Allam, attacked Mr Capocelli’s counter-initiative as symptomatic of an attitude that was “leading us straight to the suicide of our civilisation”. Were it endorsed at national level, he argued, Islamic women “could soon be going to school, taking jobs and going around freely, completely veiled”.
Mr Capocelli’s boss, Giuliano Amato, the interior minister in Italy’s centre-left government, and the prime minister, Romano Prodi, have spoken out against the burka. Mr Amato said last month that it “offended the dignity of women”.
Some serious Inner Spiritual Struggle training going on in the UK: “Terror suspect: ‘I’m Osama bin London….and I’ve got a bomb,'” from the Daily Mail (thanks to JW):
Osama Bin Moron: Evil corruptor of youth?
“Don’t panic. I’m Islamic…”Â
A muslim organised terrorist training camps which were attended by members of the failed 21/7 plot to blow up the Tube network, a court heard today.
Mohammed Hamid was arrested at a stall in Oxford Street with Muktar Said Ibrahim, the self-styled “Emir” of the bombing plot, the jury was told.
Hamid told police he was “Osama bin London” adding, “I’ve got a bomb and I’m going to blow you all up.” He was among five defendants who went on trial today at Woolwich crown court on terrorist charges.
For the first time it can be revealed that the man described as Hamid’s “partner in terrorist conversions” has admitted soliciting murder in the training camps across the UK. A court order was lifted today to allow reporting of Atilla Ahmet’s guilty pleas last month at the Old Bailey to three counts of encouraging others to commit murder.
David Farrell, prosecuting, told the jury that Hamid had been involved in radicalising Muslim youths for two years.
The terrorist training took the form of camping and paint-balling trips in Sussex and the New Forest but had a serious intent, the court heard. They were designed to “foster within the participants that they were training for ‘Jihad’ against the ‘Kuffir’, or nonbelievers”.
The prosecutor added: “To put it another way, their statements and actions resulted in the encouragement, direct and indirect, of the commission of acts of terrorism.
“As you will hear, a number of young men who attended camps organised by Hamid were in fact involved in attempts to kill and seriously injure passengers on the London transport network on 21 July 2005.”
Accused: (left to right) Mousa Brown; Kader Ahmed; Kibley da Costa; Mohammed Al Figari
* The dark marks on their foreheads are from banging their heads on the floor (or on the prayer rugs)
* But this article from the Daily Mail omits that these creeps are devout Muslims…
* This will end badly for the poor maid, not for the ridiculous accusers
* One can’t help but speculate that it may have been a more figurative variety of “spell” –– one resulting in a jealous wife, with no, well, earthly course of action to make him stop in Saudi Arabia.
The arrest of the maid, whose nationality was not revealed, followed a complaint by the wife of the employer who she said had been ‘bewitched by the maid’.
The woman said she suspected her husband had been put under a spell because he fiercely defended the maid from criticism every time she neglected her work.
Members of the religious police, known as Mutawas, discovered ‘talismans and products of charlatanism’ in a search of the maid’s quarters in the eastern city of Damman, the newspaper added.
The paper said the maid, who is to face trial, ‘admitted she took refuge in sorcery so as to make her employers like her’.
* Torture is commonly used to extract confessions in Sowdi Arabia
‘The bewitched husband adored the maid and carried out all her wishes, unbeknownst to his wife,’ the newspaper said.
Saudi’s feared religious police are tasked with enforcing respect for public morals.
Witchcraft is a capital offence in Saudi Arabia, where Sharia law is strictly applied.