Calderoli outrages Italy’s Muslims

Roberto CalderoliA far-right Italian senator outraged Muslims on Thursday by calling for a “Pig Day” protest against the planned construction of a mosque in northern Italy.

Roberto Calderoli of the anti-immigrant Northern League party said he was ready to bring his own pig to “defile” the site where the mosque is due to be built in the northern city of Bologna.

“I am making myself and my pig available for a walk at the site where they want to build the mosque,” Calderoli, who is a deputy speaker of Italy’s Senate, said in a statement. Calderoli also said he would eat “a nice plateful of pork chops to show my lack of sympathy for those who consider pork forbidden meat.”

Reuters, 13 September 2007

See also Catholic World News, which quotes condemnation of Calderoli’s comments by Italy’s welfare minister, Paolo Ferrero of the Communist Refoundation Party. “I apologize to Muslims living in Italy on behalf of all civilized Italians,” Ferrero said.