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Italian Moslems aggressed for comparing Zionist massacre in Lebanon with Nazi crimes in Italy

7. September 2006

Islamic Union remains firm, supported by Anti-imperialist Camp

During the Lebanon war, the Union of Italian Islamic Communities and Organizations (UCOII) wrote an advertisement for a chain of newspapers, which – due to reasons of space – only came out a few days after the truce. The UCOII is the only Islamic association in Italy which really represents a large number of people, and federates 124 mosques.

This advertisement (full text in Italian here: described what was happening in Lebanon, and followed with a list of 70 massacres committed in Palestine and Lebanon by Israel.

There was no mention whatsoever of “Jews” or “Holocaust”, but the title at the top of the ad was “YESTERDAY NAZI MASSACRES, TODAY ISRAELI MASSACRES”, while the last lines of the ad said “MARZABOTTO = GAZA = FOSSE ARDEATINE = LEBANON”.

Marzabotto and Fosse Ardeatine were two places where the Nazis made bloody anti-Resistance reprisals during the war. in the first, no Jews at all were killed; in the second several were.

These military reprisals were “anti-terrorism” acts which had nothing to do with the Nazi racial extermination policy, and are perfectly comparable to the Israeli “anti-terrorism” bombing of Lebanon.

Immediately after, the Minister of the Interior, Giuliano Amato, threatened to expel the UCOII from the “Italian Islamic Advisory Board” (Consulta) of the Ministry, the only body which gives some kind of recognition to Muslims in Italy. The other members of the Consulta are individuals or very tiny groups, appointed solely because of their close ties to the government.

Every political party, from right to left, condemned the advertisement, speaking of “anti-semitism” and “Holocaust denial”, which had nothing to do with the question. This exploded on a large scale in the media, where “Holocaust denial by the Muslims” became a spectacular news issue for several days.

A group of MP’s belonging to Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party officially demanded that the UCOII be outlawed on a vague anti-racism law, and submitted a case in court for “incitement to racial hatred”.

Amato declared that the UCOII would have to sign a “Paper on Italian Values”, including explicit recognition of Israel and of the “uniqueness” of the Holocaust.

The UCOII declared that the ad came out too late and was badly written, but refused to apologise for the ideas it expressed: the president Nour Dachan said, “all these people who feel offended, should feel offended by all the human lives being sacrificed”. The secretary of the UCOII – speaking in a personal capacity – said that he believed in a single democratic and secular state in Palestine.

This forced Amato to step back, because expelling the UCOII would mean expelling the only significant Islamic association. Amato’s current position is to make UCOII sign a very vague statement on “values” such as religious freedom, etc.: he says that recognition of Israel and of the “uniqueness” of the Jewish holocaust is somehow “implicit”.

The UCOII says it is ready to sign this paper, if it is in the form that Amato says. However, the paper has not yet been written, and UCOII may still be asked to sign the parts on Israel and the Holocaust, or be expelled for “anti-Semitism” if it does not.