FAX 06/ 1998

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Date: 10 August 1998

To: Dr. Angelo Panebianco

From: Giuseppe Eid

Object: Terrorism and the Islamism

Given the authoritativeness of his speeches I will allow a modest comment on page 2 of your article today in the Corriere Della Sera in the hope that it will contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon Islamic fundamentalism.

The phenomenon of migration has transformed Milan into a multicultural city, where people of different languages, religions and cultures live side by side. Islam, in particular, is an increasingly present reality, even if in many ways still little known. I would like to tell you about my experience in this regard.

In June, driven by the spirit of dialogue between religions, a Syrian Muslim preacher, famous in his country for his television interventions, was invited to Milan to share his thoughts on dialogue with Christianity. He had been presented to us as moderate and the meeting was held in the Christian sphere in the centre of Milan. His speech in Arabic had been translated in advance. The audience was mostly Muslim and resident in Italy.

After the usual preambles on the freedoms granted by Islam he slipped onto political subjects that have nothing to do with coexistence and religion. More specifically: the unity of Arab peoples under the jurisdiction of the Sharia, obviously denying that Islamic law can bring discrimination to non-Muslim citizens. He went further by stating that Islamic unity, a remedy for all hardship, was in danger because of the U.S.A. which fomented disagreements between Arabs and were naturally the cause of all their evils and the low economic level achieved. Naturally, the West (meaning Europe) was included in its attacks, even if in a lesser tone.

I want to share with you a brief consideration:

These types of interventions are repeated every Friday not only in the Arab world but in the same tone are entertained visitors to Islamic centers ‘of prayer’ in Milan, are recorded on tapes distributed throughout Italy. The phenomenon is far-reaching.

In my opinion, then repeated, the violence, will end up leaving a mark in the people’s hearts, preparing the ground for revanchism in the home of the host country. Armed terrorism is carried out by a small minority but can find consensus in a society where the verb has sown violence drop by drop in a perfidious way. (I experienced the same phenomenon in Lebanon in the 1950s by Palestinian refugees and hosts in Lebanon).

I don’t want to bore you too much on this eve of mid-August, but I am however sending you by mail to the Corriere, a presentation of two books: on the coexistence between Christians and Muslims and on Islam.

While I am available to discuss the problem, I send you my best regards,

Giuseppe Eid

Free web translation from the original in Italian


The published articles intend to provide the tools for a social inclusion of the migratory flow, shed light on human rights and the condition of life of Christians in the Islamic world from which the author come from. Knowledge of the other, of cultural and religious differences are primary ingredients to create peace in the hearts of men everywhere, a prerequisite for a peaceful coexistence and convinced citizenship in the territory.

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