Gianluca Casseri: the Dracula of Florence? Making sense of racism and Muslim-phobia that kills

On the 13th of December, in my birthplace Florence, an Italian gunman killed two street vendors from Senegal, wounded another three, and committed suicide when the police reached him. The killing was racially-motivated and Gianluca Casseri, 50, was a writer for and member of CasaPound, a neo-fascist group. The Senegalese street vendors he killed (Samb Modou, 40yrs old, and Diop Mor, 54yrs old) lived in Italy for a considerable time and leave behind their wives and children in Senegal. The life of migrants in Italy, in particular for Muslims such as the Senegalese, is known. The xenophobic Lega Nord has built its political reputation on the exploitation of Italians’ frustration with a badly managed migration policy and an increase of refugees.  Continue reading

The Libyan massacre: or rather protesters killed for Italian and European interests?

Libyan protesters are facing one of the most violent repressions that the wave of Arab revolts have witnessed to date. Yesterday reports of Libyan aircraft and Apache helicopters bombing and shooting the protesters started to circulate. This was just after Gaddafi’s son proclaimed to the world that Libya was not witnessing a revolt against one of the most oppressive and inhuman regimes in North Africa and the Middle East, but rather a civil war. In reality this is a regime that has declared, as many other times before, war on its own population. The question that we may ask, however, is why Gaddafi has preferred the bloodbath to an easy, and wealthy, exit. Many were the options open to him before he started the massacre. Now, of course, few are left. Is Gaddafi just defending his own interests? Is there something more than just a struggle to maintain power? Continue reading

The three new ‘I’s of Italy: Ignorance, Intolerance and Injustice

As many of you know, I am in Singapore enjoying the multi-ethnic and religious diversity of this city-state. I have also enjoyed different styles of communities’ hospitality. All marked by respect for the guest (in my case an evident foreigner) and friendly smiles. Many people here dress in their traditional clothes, their religious symbols, and speak their ethnic languages. Nobody fears the other as everybody is the ‘other’ to somebody else. Singapore can only survive if this delicately balanced harmony is maintained and preserved. To do so, one word is essential: respect.We should be honest, Singapore has its issues and problems. Racism exists, stereotypes are strong, foreigners are not always loved. Yet I live in an ordinary HDB (Public housing), stay with ordinary people and eat at ordinary food stalls, and the degree of ‘respect’ and ‘tolerance’ for the ‘other’ surely is at the highest level I have encountered in a modern society. Continue reading

Italy: do not ask for a mosque but rather smoke your daily weed

It would be a good news, among the bad, if you were a Baye Faal Muslim of Gambia and, with your Muslim Rasta dreadlocks and ready to enjoy your daily dose of wisdom weed. Indeed, today you would have come to know that the Italian State, controlled by not-so-post fascist parties, may not allow you to have a real mosque to pray in, and oppose your constitutional right to have your freedom of religion respected, but recognise your right, as Bayee Faaal Muslim, to have your Afghani weed.
Today the Italian Cassazione (High Court) has decided that Rastafarians are allowed to posses and smoke high quantities of Marijuana (read here for an English short version of the story) despite the very restrictive Italian law. Continue reading

Terrorism in the name of Jesus? Everybody ignore

Certainly he has not the fascinating look of a bin-Laden and does not live in the mysterious caves of the Hindu Kush, surely he has not the media appeal and the anchorman vocation which the ‘Master of Terror’ has shown to have in the last seven years; yet Roberto Sandalo (alias Robby the Mad or Commandant Franco) has more terrorist credentials than ‘Sheik Osama’. Roberto Sandalo, allegedly the leader of a Christian anti-Islamic terrorist movement called Fronte Combattente Cristiano or ‘Fighting Christian Front’.The mysterious group has been responsible, in the last year, for bomb attacks against Islamic centres and mosques as well as death threats to Muslims. Continue reading

“Mamma li Turchi!!”, Italy and the Saladin Syndrome

www.flholocaustmuseum.org/frameworks/propaganda_usa.htmHere is the work of an unknown Italian artist, representing a Muslim and his hate for our civilization….No, oops, sorry…it is not a Muslim, it is a Jew. Well, to correct the mistake, this is an unknown Italian artist in 1941 representing the Jewish domination of America, in particular New York City, recognizable here by the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline. You can see this anti-Semitic wartime poster at the Florida Holocaust Museum. Today in Italy, the traditional fascist hatred of the Jew is increasingly substituted by a hatred of Muslims, all of them, children, women and men. Today Muslims in Italy are not so differently represented as their Semitic brothers were during the time of the Fascio and the Eia Eia alala. Continue reading