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The west must conquer islam

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    The west must conquer islam Sept. 26, 2001 | ROME --   Breaking ranks with allies reaching out to the Muslim world, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2001
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      The west must conquer islam

      Sept. 26, 2001 | ROME --  

      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.

      From: Baguanamey@...
      Date: Sun Sep 30, 2001 3:40pm
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