Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Islamists are in a culture war with the West. Does the West have to justify or deny Western Civilization?
Following the news that nude statues were covered in museum during a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Italian social media users express their anger against a gesture seen as direspectful of their culture.
Italian social media users are expressing their anger at the news that nude statues were covered in a Roman museum during a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, last Monday. The Iranian leader was invited by Matteo Renzi to Rome's Capitoline, after a day of negotiations between the two countries to revive their economic partnership following the lifting of sanctions on Iran. Press photographs of the visit revealed that some statues depicting naked men and women had been covered by wooden panels.
Museum officials told the Italian press it was Renzi's office - who has since declined to comment on the issue - who had asked for these measures, describing them as a gesture of respect for the Iranian delegation's religious sensitivities. The move was immediately criticized by a number of political leaders across the Italian spectrum, shortly followed by social media users, where the hashtag #statue ("statues" in Italian) was among the trending topics on Twitter.
This is not the first time a visit by the Iranian President in a European country causes confusion over cultural standards. Last November, Rouhani and his delegation were unable to agree with their French counterparts on sitting down with France’s President Francois Hollande for an official meal, because the French authorities would not agree to scrap wine from the menu. French diplomatic protocol dictates that national wines be given to all visitors.
Their fundamentalist version of Islam obviously makes no accommodation for other ways of life. If they were really interested in co-equal cooperation wouldn't at least smiling for the photograph? If the government gives in to demands such as these then the Muslims living in Italy will shout "why not for us?" Obviously, France handled it a little better by not giving in.
Some divides among cultures are too wide to bridge. You do your own comparisons.