Rome, Italy, Feb 28, 2006 / 22:00 pm
A significant number of Italian lawmakers, politicians and intellectuals, led by the president of the Italian Senate, Marcello Pera and including such individuals as Italy’s Culture Minister, Rocco Buttiglione, has presented a manifesto in which they attribute the confusion and fear in Europe over Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism to “a moral and spiritual crisis” that prevents the continent from finding “the courage to react.”
The manifesto, endorsed by more than 70 different leaders in government, trade unions and universities, states that the west is “under attack from the outside by Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism” and is “incapable of responding to the challenge.” “We feel guilty for our well-being, we are ashamed of our traditions, and we think terrorism is a reaction to our mistakes. But terrorism is a direct attack on our civilization and on the whole of humanity,” the document argues.
“Europe is sick,” it continues. “The birth rate continues to fall, as well as [Europe’s] competitiveness, unity and action on the world scene. It hides and denies its own identity and thus fails to provide itself a legitimate constitution of its citizens. It determines relations with the United States are broken and makes anti-Americanism its flag.”
The statement echoes the words of Pope Benedict XVI that today, the “West no longer loves itself,” and that to overcome this crisis “more determination and more courage regarding the issue of our civilization” are needed.