Libyan leader`s visit to Italy stumbles into controversy

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi`s visit to Rome to mark the second anniversary of a friendship treaty with former coloniser Italy stumbled into controversy today after he said Europe should convert to Islam.

Updated: Aug 30, 2010, 21:46 PM IST

Rome: Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi`s visit
to Rome to mark the second anniversary of a friendship treaty
with former coloniser Italy stumbled into controversy today
after he said Europe should convert to Islam.

Kadhafi made the comments on Sunday during a lecture to
500 young women hired and paid by an agency to attend his
lecture.

"Islam should become the religion of all of Europe," one
of the women quoted Kadhafi as saying in the Italian press.

The agency paid the women, mainly students who hire
themselves out for advertising of publicity events, 70 or 80
euros (USD 90 or 100) to attend and said it would not pay
girls who gave their names to the press.

It also told them to dress conservatively for the
lecture.

About 200 women today gathered at the Libyan cultural
centre in Rome to attend a second lecture.

The lectures are "a new, humiliating violation of Italian
women`s dignity," opposition lawmaker and former health
minister Rosy Bindi said.

Kadhafi`s show also caused discomfort within the
coalition of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a close ally of
the Libyan leader.

"Kadhafi`s words show his dangerous Islamisation project
for Europe," said European MP Mario Borghezio of the
anti-immigrant Northern League, junior partner in the
coalition, according to Il Messaggero.

PTI