Italian minister to wear t-shirt with one of the cartoons
News from Reuters:
Italian minister puts Mohammad cartoon on T-shirtsI wonder what kind of reaction that will cause? Invasion by the Muhajedin? We and Italy are lucky Iran still does not have the Atom-bomb.
By Crispian Balmer,Reuters
Tuesday, February 14, 2006; 10:50 AM
ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Reform Minister Roberto Calderoli has had T-shirts made emblazoned with cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a move that could embarrass Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government.
Calderoli, a member of the anti-immigrant Northern League party, told Ansa news agency on Tuesday that the West had to stand up against Islamist extremists and offered to hand out T-shirts to anyone who wanted them.
"I have had T-shirts made with the cartoons that have upset Islam and I will start wearing them today," Ansa quoted Calderoli as saying.
He said the T-shirts were not meant to be a provocation but added that he saw no point trying to appease extremists.
"We have to put an end to this story that we can talk to these people. They only want to humiliate people. Full stop. And what are we becoming? The civilization of melted butter?" Calderoli said.
I suspect Mr. Calderoli's motives - he has a propensity for media stunts, but he does have courage. And I encourage the action. We must protect our freedom of expression at all costs.
(AGI) - Rome, Feb. 17 - "Deep embitterment" was expressed this morning by Hamza Piccardo, the secretary of the Union of Islamic Communities and Organisations in Italy (UCOII), over the gesture made by Minister Roberto Calderoli in deciding to be seen in public wearing a T-shirt with the cartoon sketches that have caused such uproar around the Islamic world, printed on it. "It is sad to have people like this in the Italian government. Carderoli does not appreciate the difference between political provocation and the this sort of absolutely shameful act in a difficult climate like the current one" said Piccardo on Radio Popolare. He added; "the minister does not realise that beyond that which is the sensibility of Moslems is the sensibility of the faithful. He does not appreciate that he is putting the image of Italy, which has already been compromised by the actions of this government, at risk. Her doesn't understand that our exports to Arab countries is being seriously effected and that many of his voters are businessmen that export to those countries." He concluded: "I must say, that we did not expect sensitivity from this minister but we at least hope that he is able to appreciate where the country's bests interests lie." (AGI) -I still have not found a picture of the minister with the t-shirt. I can't wait to see it. The Italian Prime Minister, Berlusconi, wants Carderoli to resign. But Italy is such a wonderful country. A Minister can not be fired.