ITALY: Catholic Churches condemn Vatican support for teaching Islam in public schools

The VATICAN has surprisingly welcomed a proposal to teach Islam in Italian schools.

Adolfo Urso, an ally of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, said the subject should be taught for an hour a week to “avoid Muslim youngsters being drawn to the ghettos of madrasse (Islamic schools) run by fundamentalists” and was backed by deputy prime minister Gianfranco Fini.

Cardinal Renato Martino, of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: “This would avoid radicalism and should be considered – obviously with some form of control.”

But the proposal rocked Fini’s Right-wing coalition and was slammed by the anti-immigration Northern League. UK EVENING STANDARD

Catholic Church slams Italy’s bid to teach Islam.

ROME: The head of the Italian Catholic Church in an interview Sunday criticised a government proposal to offer courses on Islam in schools as a way of steering young Muslims away from fundamentalist teachings.

Would Catholicism ever be taught in Muslim countries – not a chance.  Foreigners make up 4% of students with about one third being Muslims so it would seem their religious instruction should take place via their families and the authorities should take care of extremism.

“The head of the Italian Catholic Church in an interview Sunday criticized a government proposal to offer courses on Islam in schools as a way of steering young Muslims away from “fundamentalist teachings.”

“The hour of Catholic religion (teaching) is justified by the fact that it forms part of our history and our culture,” Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco told Corriere della Serra newspaper.

“Knowledge of Catholic religious facts is indispensable to the understanding of our culture. It does not seem to me that the planned hour of religion (to teach Islam) corresponds to that reasonable and recognized motivation.” DAWN

No to teaching of Islam in schools’, says Italy interior minister.

Italy’s interior minister Roberto Maroni from the anti-immigrant Northern League party said he would not back a proposal to teach Islam in Italian schools to improve integration. “The Northern League is absolutely against the proposal of an hour of Islamic religion in Italian schools,” Maroni told the commericial TV programme Mattino 5. The proposal was put forward by the deputy minister of economic development Adolfo Urso.

“While the hour of Catholic religion represents an entity, the Church, which has a hierarchy and contains clear, well defined values that can be conveyed, Islam on the other hand is a completely different case,” Maroni said.

The head of the CEI, Mons. Angelo Bagnasco quickly rejected the idea of an ‘Islam hour’ in schools. ADNKRONOS

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