Un Populist Italian Jette De L’huile Sur Le Feu

ROME – Un dirigeant de la droite populiste italienne exacerbe depuis plusieurs jours les sentiments anti-fran_ais en Italie avec des commentaires racistes sur l’_quipe de France de soccer, “compos_e de noirs, d’islamistes et de communistes”. Vice-pr_sident du S_nat italien et dirigeant de la Ligue du Nord, parti de droite populiste au ton souvent x_nophobe, Roberto Calderoli avait salu_ dimanche le titre de champion du monde comme “une victoire de l’identit_ italienne, d’une _quipe qui a align_ des Lombards, des Napolitains, des V_nitiens et des Calabrais et qui a gagn_ contre une _quipe de France qui a sacrifi_ sa propre identit_ en alignant des noirs, des islamistes et des communistes pour obtenir des r_sultats”. L’ambassadeur de France en Italie, Yves Aubin de Messuzi_re, a d_nonc_ une “d_claration inacceptable et m_prisable destin_e _ fomenter la haine” et a adress_ une lettre de protestation au pr_sident du S_nat, Franco Marini. Roberto Calderoli a refus_ mardi de s’excuser et a d_nonc_ “une volont_ de d_clencher un scandale”. Internationale “Quand je dis que l’_quipe de France est compos_e de noirs, d’islamistes et de communistes, je dis une chose objective et _vidente”, a-t-il affirm_, cit_ par l’agence Ansa. “Qui se scandalise et r_clame des excuses ne se sent pas la conscience tranquille”, a-t-il ajout_. “La France est une nation multiethnique, vu son pass_ colonialiste, ce dont je ne serais pas fier. Mais ce n’est pas ma faute si certains sont rest_s perplexes devant une _quipe qui a align_ sept noirs sur onze joueurs, si Barthez (le gardien de but) chante l’Internationale au lieu de la Marseillaise et si certains pr_f_rent la Mecque _ Bethl_em”, a-t-il poursuivi. “Je ne crois pas devoir avoir honte de ce que j’ai dit, m_me si cela choque _ Paris o_ l’on donne du g_nie _ Zidane, confondant coup de g_nie et coup de t_te”, a-t-il conclu. Ancien ministre des R_formes institutionnelles, Roberto Calderoli est coutumier des d_clarations outranci_res et des actes provocateurs. Au plus fort de la crise des caricatures controvers_es du proph_te Mahomet, il avait scandalis_ le monde musulman en arborant un T-shirt avec une de ces caricatures sur la premi_re cha_ne de la t_l_vision publique RAI. Silvio Berlusconi avait _t_ contraint de le limoger.

Italian Editor Apologizes To Muslims

ROME (AP) – The editor of an Italian monthly has apologized for any offence to Muslims over a humorous caption for a drawing showing the Prophet Muhammad in hell, Italian news reports said Sunday. The journal Studi Cattolici (Catholic Studies), which offers a variety of opinions on cultural issues, ran the caption and drawing in its March issue. Italian news agencies Sunday quoted the journal’s editor, Cesare Cavalleri, as “apologizing, as a Christian,” for any offence. Milan daily Corriere della Sera said that the journal had run a caption next to the drawing, which was inspired by Dante’s depiction of Muhammad in hell in his Divine Comedy. The Union of Italian Islamic Communities said it had protested the caption. The organization’s secretary, Roberto Piccardo, declined to comment on the reported apology. Cavalleri was quoted as saying the vignette “was interpreted as being anti-Islam when, if anything, it was a denunciation of a cultural identity crisis in the West,” the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Cavalleri as saying. “In any case, if, contrary to my and the author’s intentions, someone felt offended in his religious feelings, I willingly apologize as a Christian.” News reports said Cavalleri is a member of Opus Dei, a conservative religious organization that had the favour of the late pope John Paul. Opus Dei on its website said that while it had no responsibility for the magazine, “we desire to apologize for any offence that was made.” Muslims make up a small percentage of people in predominantly Roman Catholic Italy. Earlier this year, a minister in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative government was forced to resign after wearing a T-shirt with a caricature of Muhammad on state TV. The incident was blamed for rioting in Libya against Italian interests.

Italian PM Condemns Danish Cartoons

ROME: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sought on Wednesday to distance Italy from Muslim outrage over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) by condemning the images, after anti-Italian rallies in Libya left 11 dead. Satire must not be disrespectful, he told the Arabic satellite television channel Al-Jazeera in an interview to be broadcast later Wednesday.