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facist Italian prime minister says Western civilization superior to Islamic

by scum Friday, Sep. 28, 2001 at 2:54 AM

He told a news conference, "We must be aware of the superiority of our civilization, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights and -- in contrast with Islamic countries -- respect for religious and political rights, a system that has as its values understandings of diversity and tolerance." hah! like he cares about human rights or freedom. dirty facist.

Breaking ranks with allies reaching out to the

Muslim world, Italian Prime Minister Silvio

Berlusconi on Wednesday said Western civilization

is superior to Islam. He also said he hopes the West

conquers Islamic civilization.

The conservative billionaire's remarks were instantly

disavowed by more moderate politicians in Italy,

who called them both ill-timed and offensive.

Berlusconi made the remarks, which were

broadcast on Italian television, after talks in Berlin

with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and

Russian President Vladimir Putin on the crisis

sparked by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the

United States.

He told a news conference, "We must be aware of

the superiority of our civilization, a system that has

guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights and

-- in contrast with Islamic countries -- respect for

religious and political rights, a system that has as its

values understandings of diversity and tolerance."

He also claimed Western civilization is superior

because it "has at its core, as its greatest value,

freedom, which is not the heritage of Islamic

culture."

Berlusconi went on to say that he trusts "the West

will continue to conquer peoples, like it conquered

Communism," even if it means a confrontation with

"another civilization, the Islamic one, stuck where it

was 1,400 years ago."

His comments came as many Western leaders were

taking pains to avoid antagonizing the Muslim world

and forge a worldwide coalition against terrorism.

President Bush, for example, met Wednesday with

American Sikhs and Muslims at the White House

and issued yet another appeal for religious

tolerance.

The reaction in Italy to Berlusconi's comments was

swift and sharp. They were denounced by a number

of Italian politicians as irresponsible and

inflammatory.

Piero Fassino, a prominent member of the

center-left opposition, called the comment

"mistaken and, above all, inopportune."

"We're in a very delicate phase in the life of the

planet. We need to unite the world against

terrorism. And one of the conditions is to unite

religions, to have civilizations and cultures

cooperate," said Fassino.

An outspoken businessman, Berlusconi has only

limited foreign policy experience, despite a brief,

previous turn as prime minister in 1994. The allies in

his conservative coalition include the often

xenophobic Northern League and the once

neo-fascist National Alliance.

Italy is home to at least 500,000 Muslims, many of

them immigrants from North Africa.

The prime minister plans to visit Washington soon

for talks with Bush on the terrorism crisis. A

member of NATO, Italy has pledged its full

cooperation.

thos of you in washington might want to demonstrate a little.

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