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Italian minister quits over Prophet T-shirt

Last Updated Sat, 18 Feb 2006 11:02:48 EST

CBC News


Italian cabinet minister Roberto Calderoli resigned on Saturday after wearing a T-shirt printed with cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. News that he had the shirts made sparked a five-hour riot outside the Italian consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Friday. At least 10 people died as police tried to disperse the crowd of more than 1,000 demonstrators.






Police fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters, who hurled rocks and bottles before storming the compound and setting fire to the building and cars parked nearby. Libya's parliamentary secretariat on Saturday voted to suspend the interior minister for "excessive use of force" in the riot.

Calderoli, a member of the anti-immigration Northern League party, wore the T-shirt underneath a suit this week. He told the Italian news agency ANSA it was a "personal initiative" that was meant to invite "real dialogue.''

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi later asked for Calderoli's resignation, saying the minister's position "isn't that of the government and it's evidently incompatible with an institutional role."



"I respect all faiths and support dialogue between religions and civilizations,'' Berlusconi said in a statement published on the government's website Saturday.


The cartoons, first published by a Danish newspaper in September, have angered Muslims around the world. Protesters have burned Danish flags and attacked embassies. Devout Islamic beliefs prohibit any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.



More than 10,000 people took part in an angry but peaceful protest against the cartoons in central London on Saturday. Buses brought participants from cities around Britain to gather in Trafalgar Square and they marched through central London toward Hyde Park.
 

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violence over a tee.. some ppl still need to get a life, and get over it.. nothing's sacred in this world.
 

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real said:
violence over a tee.. some ppl still need to get a life, and get over it.. nothing's sacred in this world.
Riiiight, because they're fighting over tshirt.....:confused:

There is nothing in life sacred to you but there many things sacred to some people.

Shame on Robert Calderoli for exhibiting such poor judgement. 'Freedom of speech' shouldn't be an excuse for ignorance.
 

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well certain things my be sacred to certain groups of people, but like the late dr king once said, " we must learn to disagree, without being violently disagreeable." as foolish as it was for this guy to wear that shirt at that event, the onslaught of violence afterwards was simply not wise or acceptable. anyway lets stay away from the politics, and get back to what this board does best. exchanging great ideas for creating and distributing great t-shirts!
 
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