Two years ago, then Islamic State spokesman Mohammed Al-Adnani declared jihad against Rome, vowing to “break your crosses, and enslave your women…”
But so far he hasn’t succeeded, at least not in Italy or Rome. Al-Adnani went on to encourage jihadists to attack Westerners “wherever they can be found,” an admonition that was indeed carried out in in “France, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Tunisia, Australia, Canada and the U.S.” But notice that up to now there have been no attacks in Italy — with the physical seat of Catholicism in Rome, from which a Pope once helped to break the back of the Islamic incursion into Europe at the Gates of Vienna on a long-ago 9/11:
September 11th, 1683, the day when an alliance of Christian armies led by Jan III Sobieski, the King of Poland, arrived at the Gates of Vienna….
Fortunately for the Austrians, and for Christendom, Pope Innocent authorized the papal nuncio in Kraków to use the full resources of the Vatican.
Until that fateful day…
The Ottoman Empire had been expanding into Europe ever since Constantinople fell to the Turks, and even before that. Wherever the Muslim armies went, they plundered cities, took slaves, turned churches into mosques, and converted many thousands of Christian captives to Islam at the point of a sword.
Westerners need to learn a lesson or two from present-day Italy (yet the current pope is another story):
Islamic State propaganda efforts in Italy have lagged behind that in other countries. Islamic State propaganda is easily available online in German, French and English, Vidino said, but there has been little translated into Italian…..Far fewer Italian residents have gone to Iraq or Syria to fight with the Islamic State than those in France, Germany and the U.K.
Italy has a tough immigration policy and deportation laws. For example, Italian authorities, acting on national security grounds, recently deported a Moroccan cleric, Mohammed Madad, who named one of his own daughters “Jihad.” The country has also expelled close to 100 terrorism suspects since the start of 2015.
Italy also rejected plans for the building of a mosque next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and is seen as a country with a “mosque problem”; unregulated mosques in Italy are also closed down as part of the government’s counter-terrorism drive.
Italy has by no means demonstrated any action that is actually anti-Muslim or “Islamophobic,” but it has resisted stealth jihadist propaganda, and seeks first to protect its citizens from jihad incursion and attack.
Peculiar, however, in light of all this, is the alarming behavior of the current pope. He has called the murderous jihadist Abbas “an angel of peace”; was praised by the Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi of Qom, Iran for saying that Islam is peaceful; abandoned Christian refugees; and virtually turned his back on the millions of victims of jihad murder, abuse and terror, including innocent Christians who are persecuted. In fact, Pope Francis “held a private audience with the grand imam of Al-Azhar,” the Sunni imam who clashed with former Pope Benedict over Muslim violence against Christians — but notice how peaceful and loving Pope Francis appears to be.
“Italy deters terrorism with tough citizenship, deportation”, by Nancy Montgomery, Stars and Stripes, October 14, 2016:
VICENZA, Italy — Two years ago this month, the cover of the Islamic State’s English-language magazine featured an altered photo of the group’s black flag flying atop the Egyptian obelisk that anchors St. Peter’s Square in front of the Vatican.
Inside the issue, then Islamic State spokesman Mohammed Al-Adnani proclaimed the group would one day “conquer Rome…. break your crosses, and enslave your women…” The story went on to encourage jihadi sympathizers to attack Westerners “wherever they can be found.”
Since then, Islamic State fighters or sympathizers have launched scores of attacks that killed hundreds and injured many more — in France, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Tunisia, Australia, Canada and the U.S.
Yet there have been no attacks in Italy.
Italian authorities have credited smart, focused intelligence and police work. But an expert on Italian foreign policy and international terrorism said there are other likely reasons Italy has thus far escaped an islamist terrorist attack: in particular, Italy’s restrictive citizenship laws and its ability and willingness to deport foreign nationals authorities see as threats.
Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Western attacks have been almost exclusively second-generation citizens. “Italy barely has a second generation,” said Lozenzo Vidino, the director of the program on extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security. “There isn’t really a jihadist scene.”
Islamic State propaganda efforts in Italy have lagged behind that in other countries. Islamic State propaganda is easily available online in German, French and English, Vidino said, but there has been little translated into Italian.
Experts say the Islamic State has chosen its targets partly on how many operatives it has available in a country. Far fewer Italian residents have gone to Iraq or Syria to fight with the Islamic State than those in France, Germany and the U.K., according to an April report by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism at The Hague, Netherlands.
More than 900 French residents were estimated to have traveled to fight in Syria or Iraq, according to the report. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a leader of the Paris attacks in November last year that killed 130 people, and most of those with significant roles in either the Paris or Brussels attacks had fought in Syria. Abaaoud, a Belgian of Moroccan descent who grew up in a neighborhood with an active jihadist scene, boasted he’d brought dozens of fighters back from Syria to launch European attacks.
The ICCT report estimated nearly 800 German residents, 60 percent holding German citizenship, became foreign fighters, and an estimated 500 traveled from Belgium to fight.
Italy’s official estimate is 110, Vidino said.
Only a dozen of them had Italian passports, according to the Italian defense minister.
To be an Italian citizen, “you have to have Italian blood,” Vidino said; your mother or father must be a citizen.
Non-Italians hoping to gain citizenship face a lengthy, expensive and complex process. Children of non-residents born in Italy have to wait until they’re 18 to even apply for citizenship.
Because few non-Italian residents are able to become citizens, those suspected of supporting the Islamic State or recruiting fighters can be — and are — quickly deported….