…Again. Once was bizarre enough, but then again, the man is a qualified authority on bizarre behavior. “Gadhafi gives lesson on Islam to young Italians,” by Nicole Winfield for the Associated Press, August 29 (thanks to all who sent this in):
ROME — Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave a lesson on Islam and copies of the Quran to a few hundred young Italian women Sunday as he arrived in Rome for his fourth visit in a year.
It was the second time the Libyan leader — who travels with female bodyguards and fancies himself a self-styled feminist — had staged such an event for Italian women, who were recruited by a modeling agency and paid an undisclosed sum to attend.
Hope he didn’t try to lecture on hairstyling. Anyway, what kind of modeling agency organizes this sort of thing?
Michela, who asked that her last name not be used, told Associated Press Television News that three of the participants converted to Islam on the spot.
Incredibly naÃ¯ve, or the Gadhafian equivalent to “random” infomercial audience members?
“It was a really beautiful meeting and went very well,” she said. “He is very easygoing and he gave us a copy of the Quran. Three girls converted themselves to Islam during the ceremony. It was a beautiful event.”
Other participants, though, identifying themselves as Roman Catholics in this overwhelmingly Catholic country, said Gadhafi had urged others to convert and had dismissed Christianity as unimportant.
Last time, he told them: “Convert to Islam. Jesus was sent to the Jews, not for you. Mohammed, on the other hand, was sent for all human beings.”
Never you mind that bit about “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19). Gadhafi doesn’t seem to think that’s important.
Between 200 and 500 young women attended, arriving 10 buses at the Libyan ambassador’s residence just as Gadhafi’s plane was landing at Rome’s Ciampino airport at the start of a two-day visit.
The visit, amid steadily improving business ties between Libya and its former colonial ruler, also marks the second anniversary of a friendship treaty in which Italy agreed to pay Libya $5 billion as compensation for its 30-year occupation, which ended in 1943.