The buck stops here. “Muslims ‘not welcome’ at interfaith prayer centre in Genoa,” from Times Online, August 6:
A proposal to turn a medieval palace in Genoa founded by Crusader knights into a multi faith prayer centre for Muslims, Jews and Christians has run into opposition from local politicians who say Muslims are “not welcome”.
Members of the anti immigrant Northern League – which is part of the centre Right government led by Silvio Berlusconi – said the Genoa council’s plan to use the Commenda di Pre for multi faith prayer was unacceptable.
Francesco Bruzzone, a regional councillor for the Northern League, said Muslims had “no business coming” to the hospital and hostel where crusaders and pilgrims had gathered and said mass before leaving for the Holy Land.”This shows a lack of respect for history” Mr Bruzzone said. He said he had been due to go on holiday but instead had decided to stay in Genoa to protest.
Not to mention Muslims would only want to go to this den of “infidelity” for one reason and one reason only: to declare the subtle victory of Islam through the stealth jihad ; for what else could it mean if Muslims, the traditional enemies of Christendom, come and “pray” in a palace founded by Christian men who gave their lives fighting Islam?
Marta Vincenzi, the centre Left mayor of Genoa, said the council wanted to open an inter-religious centre “where members of the three monotheistic religions – Christians, Jews and Muslims – can all go to pray”. Catholics would use the prayer centre on Sunday, Jews on Saturday and Muslims on Friday. Salah Hussein, the imam in Genoa, welcomed the idea, which he said would reinforce “civil co-existence”.[…]
Ms Vincenzi said that as a compromise she had proposed that Muslims in Genoa be allowed to build a mosque near the port, wherer there was a mosque in medieval times, “but without a minaret”. However the imam said that “for us a minaret is indispensable. It’s like asking Christians to build a church without a belltower.
Which, of course, is what Islamic law mandates — that churches not ring their bells or be conspicuous in any way. This is the case in “liberal” Muslim nations; in nations like Saudi Arabia, on the other hand (where sharia is fully implemented), church buildings are not even permitted. That said, why shouldn’t Muslims come-a-prayin in sacred crusader buildings, huh?
The Commenda di Pre, with three storeys of open galleries, was built in the eleventh century, and is still decorated with frescoes depicting the knights’ battle insignia and coats of arms.