“Berlusconi Demands Minister’s Resignation After Libyan Protests” from Bloomberg:
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi asked Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli to resign late yesterday after a mob attacked an Italian consulate in Libya angered about the T-shirt worn by the minister on Feb. 14 depicting a Danish cartoon of the prophet Muhammad.
About 1,000 protesters staged two attacks on the consulate building in Benghazi, Libya, yesterday, the Italian foreign ministry said. While fire was set to the front of the building, the Libyan police stopped the protesters from harming the six Italian staff, according to the ministry. Eleven protesters were killed by police, Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.
“I respect all faiths and support dialogue between religions and civilizations,” Berlusconi said in a statement published on the government’s Web site early today. “Senator Calderoli’s position isn’t that of the government and it’s evidently incompatible with an institutional role, so he’s invited to resign.”…
Calderoli, a member of the anti-immigration Northern League party, earlier this week had T-shirts made with the Danish cartoons stamped on them. Calderoli said the shirts weren’t meant to provoke Muslims, but instead to invite “real dialogue.”
“It’s time to stop making up stories about looking for dialogue with these people,” Calderoli said on Feb. 14. “They only want to humiliate people, full stop.” Calderoli said it was “hypocritical” to distinguish between “terrorist Islam and pacifist Islam.”
Calderoli refused to resign last night, the minister said in an interview published today in la Repubblica newspaper that was confirmed by his spokeswoman, who asked not to be named.
“I may even be sorry for the victims, but what happened in Libya has nothing to do with my T-shirt,” Calderoli said in la Repubblica. “That’s not what’s at stake. What’s at stake is Western civilization.”…