Islam in Italy


Oriana Fallaci is facing charges in Italy for defaming Islam in her 2004 book, La forza della Ragione (Italian-language link). A prosecutor recommended shelving the lawsuit brought against Fallaci by Adel Smith of the Italian Muslim Union, citing freedom of expression, but a qadi in Bergamo (where the book was published) has ordered Fallaci to return for trial. Fallaci, who lives in New York, says she won't cooperate.

Islam is apparently now the second-largest religion in Italy. Given the exceedingly small populations of Protestants, Jews, and Orthodox Christians in the country, that's not saying very much in terms of numbers, though it obviously reflects recent immigration trends. As it happens, Italy's Muslim community is home to a singularly moderate imam: Abdul Hadi Palazzi of the Italian Muslim Assembly in Rome.

Sheikh Palazzi has long been a tireless critic of Wahhabism, which he regards as a "poison," and has been a defender of the United States. Muslims have thrived in the free U.S., he has argued, compared to their condition in most of the illiberal Muslim world. More controversially, Palazzi is a supporter of Israel; he bases that support on his interpretation of Quranic verses.

I believe that Palazzi is from Syria, and that his Italian father converted to Islam. The Italian Muslim Assembly maintains an English-language version of its Website with numerous links to Palazzi's writings and speeches, and to articles about the controversies in which he has been involved.

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  1. An Islamic Zionism makes Palazzi interesting and entertaining, but it has about the same serious traction/legs/future mainstream potential as Hasidic or Neteurei Karta Judaic anti-Zionism.

    Palazzi cannot seem to get any serious Muslim writers, even of the “moderate” kind, to even mildly defend him, judging by his site. And some will normally stick their neck out from time to time.

  2. not sure who qualifies as a “serious Muslim writer,” but if Irshad Manji counts, she’s spoken up for him.

  3. Italy’s Muslim community is home to a singularly moderate imam
    has been a defender of the United States

    Palazzi is a supporter of Israel

    In Charles world: moderate=defender of the US and supporter of Israel.

  4. And, a, I suppose in your world moderate = calling for the destruction of the US and Israel.

  5. in charles’ world, “moderate” = critic of wahhabism. palazzi’s other positions make him “singularly moderate.”

  6. Is “singularly moderate” sort of like “military intelligence?”

  7. No, that would be ‘singularly common’

  8. OK, let’s get the dead pool going.

  9. in charles’ world, “moderate” = critic of wahhabism

    So, when Muqtada Al-Sadr and other Shiite radicals rant against Wahhabism, they are deserving of the label ‘moderate’?

  10. A Sunni denouncing Wahhabism (a sub-sect of Sunniism) would be a moderate. Much like a Protestant denouncing fundy Evangelicals. A Shi’ite criticizing Wahhabism is like a Protestant criticizing Catholicism: there’s no way to tell if he is a moderate or not, without examining other statements.

  11. If Europe continues to deal with Islamism the way they have so far, I fail to see how they are not going to be completely fucked in the future. Anybody here want to explain to me how continued appeasement is going to lead to anything but A) A Sharia Netherlands in 40 years, or B) eventual expulsion of the Muslim population?

  12. Islamic blasphemy laws for Italy now?
    Soon anyone who wishes to criticise Islam or unchecked immigration in Europe will end up becoming part of a fascist movement just to be heard and feel they have SOME control over their country’s destiny…a sad and dangerous, but logical progression for a citizenry who feel under threat but are told to shutup and called rascist for voicing their opinion on these issues. Of course then we also have the added situation in Europe where to be patriotic is considered fascist.
    It ain’t gonna be pretty.

  13. European race/religious war is coming. How soon, I don’t know. Considered in the historical view of Europe, this is just business as usual for that screwed-up continent. I’m so glad my ancestors left that place and came to the US.

  14. The logical thing for the Europeans to do would be to completely disestablish their Christian churches, get them off the government dole, and make them rely on contributions from their dwindling memberships to fund their operations. Next they should repeal their blasphemy laws and the newer strictures against criticizing religions on the “hate-speech” model. Then they will be in a position to apply the same benign neglect to Islam.

    Somehow I don’t see that happening soon.


  15. The Real Bill,
    How do you figure about the racewar? People have been saying that about here too. I don’t see a race war happening. There are too many halfbreeds, there are too many people that like eachother from the different races.

  16. kwais,

    Racewar was probably too far, but Europe ain’t like here. When’s the last time you were there? Of course, each country is different. In Germany, Turks and Germans don’t mix much. In France, the various Muslims and French don’t mix much. Britain and the Netherlands has more mixing. My point about race war was more of a connection to religious war. If religious war ever breaks out, the race war will be part of it.

  17. I thought that they were neutering Europeans these days to prevent these excesses.

  18. Amen, kevrob. Stupid hate speech laws, they just give the nazis and fundies the opportunity to strike a martyr pose, or play the romantic outlaw.

  19. Moderate Muslims are a fantasy. All Muslims
    share common beliefs,Koran, Mohammed,shria law,
    etc. The notion of a Muslim being a Democrat is
    wishful thinking…

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