* I didn’t know Italy had a Defense Minister, did you?
ROME, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Italy’s defence minister warned the country’s Muslims to stop further “provocations” after thousands held prayers in public squares in Milan during pro-Palestinian demonstrations over the past week.
Ignazio La Russa, from the right-wing National Alliance, said he did not oppose protests or want to deny anyone the right to pray, but called the public prayers a challenge to peace.Â “I say enough of the provocations of Islamists in Milan,” he told Il Giornale newspaper on Sunday. “In Milan, a legitimate demonstration ended in a deliberately provocative mosque under the open sky.”
Thousands of Muslims knelt with their heads bowed to the ground in prayer before Milan’s central train station in one of several pro-Palestinian protests on Saturday.
A week ago, Muslims held prayers in front of Milan’s central cathedral, angering right-wing politicians in the overwhelming Catholic country who called it an affront to Christianity.
Muslim leaders later apologised, saying no offence was intended. There are about 1 million Muslims in Italy, making up almost two percent of the population.
“What would have happened if a group of Christians gathered together to pray with a rosary before Mecca? They probably would have been stoned,” said La Russa, who described himself as a practicising Catholic who attends Mass almost every Sunday.
Milan’s deputy mayor issued a similar warning to Muslims, saying four protests in seven days was too much.
“Enough with pro-Hamas marches now,” said Riccardo De Corato. “Milan is not a province of Gaza and has no intention of reluctantly instituting this type of ‘Gaza Saturdays.'”
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition, which includes the hardline anti-immigrant Northern League, has clashed with Italy’s Muslim community in the past.
It irked Muslims last year with plans to block the construction of new mosques in Italy.
Protests against the Israeli offensive continued in Italy on Sunday, with 3,000 people marching through the centre of Naples. Another 1,000 held hands to form a human chain and march through Rome’s historic centre to demand an end to violence in Gaza.
MILAN, NOW BOLOGNA – THOUSANDS OF PROSTRATE MUSLIMS FACE MECCAÂ PRAY AT CHURCH,Â AMID ANTI-JEWISH ACTS
RememberÂ thisÂ last week, when the Muslim hordes took over the Gothic church grounds in Milan and performed takbir (expansion) and some akbar? They allegedly apologized — but they keep on doing it. Islamic imperialism. (photo hat tip Gaia)
The Vatican has expressed alarm over the burning of Israeli flags by Muslims protesting against Israeli actions in Gaza during Muslim prayers staged outside Italian cathedrals
The Vatican has expressed alarm over the burning of Israeli flags by Muslims protesting against Israeli actions in Gaza during Muslim prayers staged outside Italian cathedrals.
However prayers held recently outside the Duomo in Milan and the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, with thousands of prostrate Muslims facing Mecca, had been accompanied by flag burning which was not only anti Israeli but anti Semitic, with protesters carrying banners depicting the Star of David alongside the Nazi swastika. “What matters is the spirit in which one prays – and prayer excludes hate” Cardinal Martino said.
Bishop Ernesto Vecchi, vicar general of the Bologna diocese, said the Muslim prayers were “not just prayers but a challenge, not so much to the basilica itself as to our democratic system and culture”. Bishop Vecchi suggested the staging of mass prayers outside Christian churches in Italy was a deliberate move “on orders from afar” as part of a strategy of “Islamisation” of Europe.
Just last week Muslims were kneeling down in prayer in front ofÂ Milan’s gothic cathedralÂ as they protest Israel …… it starts with the Jew, the Sunday folks are next.
Hey, I’m Jewish and this makes my skin crawl.
UPDATE: Gaia translatedÂ the article in the Italian newspaperÂ for us and adds this note:Â Bologna is a city which has traditionally had a strong communist administration which has offered land in the centre of town to the muslim community for the construction of a mega mosque and citadel.Â There is a campaign launched by the local people to prevent this.
March and prayer pro Gaza in centre town
Slogans against Israel, flags burned