In particular we learn that the Vatican yesterday expressed its “unease” at the hundreds of Muslims who gathered in prayer outside the the Duomo in Milan and the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, with thousands of prostrate Muslims facing Mecca. In an interview with the Vatican’s official newspaper Osservatore Romano, Cardinal RenatoMartino, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: “For me the sight of people at prayer does not trouble me, it is good that people pray. But what really troubled me and left me uneasy was the fact that Israeli flags were burnt and there were slogans, all manifestations of hate and which followed a prayer session.” “What matters is the spirit in which one prays—and prayer excludes hate,” he added.
Monsignor Luigi Manganini, archpriest of Milan cathedral, said in turn he could imagine the Islamic reaction if Christians prayed en masse outside a mosque (well, er, actually I think there are very few people who would have difficulty in imaging what would have happened …).
We also learn that the rally in Milan was led by the city’s Muslim Imam Abu Imad, who, as MP Maurizio Gasparri noted, has been convicted in Italy of terrorism related offences, and that, according to the Imam, the demonstration had ended up on the cathedral square “by chance” at the hour of prayer, “and so we prayed, there was no provocation or insult intended,” he said. Fantastic.
Yet, Gasparri thinks that “when 10,000 Muslims arrive in front of Milan Cathedral, led by an Imam who has convictions for terrorism then public order needs to be looked at,” and that “it is evident that this was intended as a threat and the decision to pray and hold the rally in front of the Cathedral is very significant.”
Who do you agree with? Abu Imad or Gasparri?
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