can i say, "i told you so"?

  1. 5,748 Posts.
    Jun. 9, 2003
    Imam in Rome says suicide bombings OK—in Israel at least
    By LISA PALMIERI-BILLIG

    The new Imam of the Grand Mosque of Rome, the largest in Europe, called for the "victory of Islamic fighters in Palestine, Chechnya and other areas of the world" in his sermon last Friday. He called for Allah's help in "the destruction of the homes and destruction of the enemies of Islam", for their "annihilation", and "the victory everywhere of the Nation of Islam."

    In a report by Magdi Allam, the Italian columnist of Egyptian origin who writes regularly about the Arab and Muslim world for the national daily La Repubblica, 32-year-old Imam Abdel-Samie Mahmoud Ibrahim Moussa is quoted as having told the correspondent that suicide attacks in Israel are religiously legitimate, whereas they are not in Saudi Arabia, Morocco or Italy.

    "From an Islamic viewpoint there is no doubt that the operations of the mujahidin against the Jews in Palestine are legitimate. They are missions of martyrdom and those who commit them are martyrs of Islam because all Palestine is a Dar al-harb, a territory of war. This is because all of the Jewish society illegally occupies an Islamic land." . (............Finally, the truth is coming out.....it's not about Israel "occupying Palestinian land.....it's about Israel......BEING THERE....fullstop!...................Snooker)

    On the other hand, in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, "Islam condemns attacks against foreigners who are hosted by the Muslim people. We have an Aqd al-wafa'a, a Covenant of loyalty with them. We welcomed them and we are responsible for their physical safety."

    By the same token, Muslims living in Italy may not commit terrorist acts against Italians because an Aqd al-aman, covenant of security, binds them to loyalty to the State that provides for the physical safety of the resident Muslims.

    These, together with rigid invocations against marital infidelity and on the dependent role of women, were some of the statements made in the sermon and the subsequent interview. During the sermon, the Imam reportedly also forbade marriage with Jewish women.

    He cited three requirements for marriage with Jewish or Christian women: "1) they must be chaste, 2) they must be religious, 3) the people of their religion must not fight Muslims." He concluded, "this is why today marriage with Jewish women is forbidden."

    Imam Moussa was selected by the Egyptian Al Azhar University by a tacit agreement with the Saudi Arabian-financed Mosque of Rome. He is described as inexperienced, with no knowledge of the Italian language.

    The Italian Minister of the Interior, Giuseppe Pisanu, in an interview by Magdi Allam published May 24, said "Italian mosques must be entirely freed of preachers of violence" adding "I know from bitter experience that the history of terrorism is a history of political underestimations that lead right up to the eve of tragedy."

    So far there has been no official reaction by the government. Leaders of Muslim organizations in Italy have made contrasting comments to this episode, which Magdi Allam, author of several books on Islam in Italy, considers not an isolated phenomenon of the preaching of hate.

    Very few openly condemned the Imam for his words, finding "excuse" in the fact that he is foreign and not used to the Italian mentality—tacitly justifying such preaching in an Arab Islamic context. There are approximately one million Muslims in this country (mostly immigrants), by far outnumbering the numerically small but historically important 35,000-member Jewish Community.

    He considers the majority of Muslim immigrants, a very pluralistic lot who come from all over the world, to be moderate and peaceful. However, the minority of fundamentalists who openly espouse anti-US and anti-Israel extremist positions are harbored in some of the 250-odd mosques spread across the country and by the official organizations of Islam, such as the UCOII organ of the Union of Italian Islamic Communities, connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, an international association of Islamic integralism originating in Egypt and responsible for the murder of Sadat, among many other acts of terror in the past.

    The Muslim community in Italy has been dragging its feet in negotiating an agreement with the Italian Government modeled on the Catholic Church-State Concordat and other agreements between the government and other religious minorities including that with the Union of Italian Jewish Communities.

    The main difficulties seem to lie in the lack of unified views due to the great variety of ethnic origins of the immigrants, plus the ideologies and vested interests behind official Islamic organizational structures. Italians, conditioned by the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church, which embraces about 90 per cent of the population in Italy, tend to look for hierarchical counterparts or "official voices" in other religions, where they simply do not exist.

    Islam in Italy has expanded enormously in the past ten years. Conversions to Islam have increased, but mostly the growth is mostly due to the great waves of immigrants landing daily on Italian shores, both legally and illegally. Effective solutions to problems regarding integration lag behind this reality.

 
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