Including an impromptu mass prayer facing Mecca. The Catholic church observed that “Saturday’s demonstration contained elements that were alien to faith and religion.” Actually, depending on which “religion” one is talking about, these “elements” — euphemism for rage, hate, intolerance, supremacism, intimidation, violence — may well be part of it.
“Muslim apology over prayers outside Milan Cathedral,” by Nick Squires for the Telegraph, January 9:
Islamic leaders in Italy are to apologise to the Roman Catholic Church after a pro-Palestinian march ended in Muslims burning Israeli flags and praying in front of Milan Cathedral.
The sight of ranks of men and boys kneeling in prayer in the piazza directly in front of the Gothic building incensed many Italians, with photographs carried on the front pages of many newspapers.[…]
Mario Borghezio, who is also an MEP, said: “The prayer to Allah recited by thousands of fanatical Muslims is an act of intimidation, a slap in the face for the city of Milan, which must remain Christian.” Muslim leaders now want to meet with Milan’s archbishop, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, to “clarify” what happened at the weekend, when the demonstrators diverted from their previously agreed route and staged the impromptu prayer to Mecca.
While trying not to stoke the controversy, the Catholic Church was deeply uneasy with the mass prayer outside the Duomo, which is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest Roman Catholic church in the world, after St Peter’s in Rome and Seville cathedral.
An editorial on the website of the Diocese of Milan said prayer was a universal human right but that Saturday’s demonstration contained elements that were alien to faith and religion.
Around 5,000 Muslims, most of them immigrants to Italy, took part in the march, with some carrying banners depicting the Star of David defaced by Nazi swastikas.