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Italy's MP Fiamma Nirenstein:"Islam Does Not Like Christians"

Getting to know Italian MP Nirenstein: straight talk on Christian attitudes to Islam and Israel, and on multiculturalism in Europe..
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/22/2010, 2:26 AM / Last Update: 10/22/2010, 2:16 AM

Fiamma Nirenstein

Jewish Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein was reconfirmed this week as Vice President of Italy’s Foreign Affairs Committee. In addition, she was also appointed an official consultant on Israel and the international Jewish communities by Italian Foreign Minister Frattini.

Earlier this week, Nirenstein commented on Christian leaders who criticize Israel yet ignore violence by Arabs. She pointed out that “Islam does not like Eastern Christians: it has forced them to flee and now they account for only 6% of the population in the Mideast”, and added that the only country where the number of Christians has grown is Israel, where 163,000 Christians live today, a number which is expected to grow to 187,000 by the year 2020. “In Muslim countries, on the other hand, Christians are on the wane, but the 50 churches present in the Holy Land seem not to notice. They prefer to dump on Israel, where they enjoy full freedom of worship and expression,” said Nirenstein.

Commenting on the Vatican Synod about Middle East taking place in Rome these days, Nirenstein pointed out a document “written in a tone of theological excommunication towards the State of Israel,” which was signed by the Custodian of the Holy Land, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who later denied involvement, saying that “no church in the Holy Land had signed the document.” Nirenstein pointed out, however, that the names of top-level signers are clearly visible on the document which is available on the internet. The document speaks in the name of "us Christian Palestinians," and says that “the military occupation is a sin against God and against man”. It excommunicates Christian supporters of Israel, takes sides against the very presence of Israel, likens the defensive barrier that has blocked 98% of terrorism to apartheid, attacks the communities in Judea and Samaria and essentially cancels the existence of the Jewish state. The document goes so far as to legitimize terrorism when it talks about the “thousands of prisoners who languish in Israeli jails” which are “part of the society around us”. “Resistance to the evil of occupation is a Christian's right and duty," says the document.

 “In the final draft of the appeal which will be voted on Friday, the Synod is once again offering the Catholic Church as the guarantor of freedom of religious and personal freedom for all religions,” wrote Nirenstein. “But if there are no sanctions against what Christians suffer in Islamic countries and if they continue to blame the Jews who have nothing to do with it all, how do they think they will be able—morally and practically—to sustain this?”

Other comments made by Nirenstein this past week addressed remarks made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that Germany's multicultural approach to immigration “has failed, utterly failed,” and that in the future, immigrants should be expected to integrate into German culture.

“The point is that certain cultures very often have no intention of mixing in with ours, despite our actions and best intentions,” said Nirenstein in response. “Paris has become a city in which more than 200,000 people live in families where polygamy is common practice. In Italy 30,000 women have been subjected to genital mutilation and Islamic courts—ninety-odd in London alone—inflict sentences that are inconceivable.”

She pointed out that despite the fact that immigrants should have freedom of rights because of democracy, “they have other rules, not the ones of democracy. In Germany, Chancellor Merkel’s homeland, a Berlin lawyer was beaten along with her Muslim client who wanted a divorce; she was also attacked in the subway and was forced to close her practice. Again in Germany, Mozart’s opera, Idomeneo, was cancelled following Islamic threats. By pure luck, the editor-in-chief of Die Welt, Roger Köppel, blocked the hand of a young Muslim who was about to stab him in his office. In Germany, England and France, it is no longer possible to trace the “missing girls” who become slaves following arranged marriages. Giulio Meotti writes that, in Stockholm, the latest fashion is a T-shirt worn by young Muslim on which is written: ‘In 2030 we will take over’. Just some incidents.

“When we are faced by a culture like that of Islam, there are forms of irreducibility that run up against legal and moral issues with a whole range of subtleties,” continued Nirenstein. “For us, ‘immigration’ is a sacred term, filled of a sense of guilt, of generosity, of religion and liberal or left-wing overtones. But democracy is also a sacred term, our most important conquest: the masses of immigrants that do not share our democratic values put it in danger. And while we think that allowing immigration is a duty of democracy, we don’t understand that we are putting it at stake. Perhaps Chancellor Merkel—democratic German, pro-Europe, middle-class, complex-ridden and shy as every cultured German is—has succeeded in posing the question.”

Earlier this month, Nirenstein organized a mass rally-demonstration entitled “For the truth, for Israel” which was held in Rome. 63 speeches were made by personalities, politicians, intellectuals, artists and journalists from all over Europe during the rally which was billed as "the first European, bipartisan event aimed at restoring the truth regarding Israel, putting an end to the barrage of lies that are hurled at Israel every day and to the double standard used by the media and international organizations." According to estimates, 3,000 people attended the rally.