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Italy, Islam and the Islamic World

Representations and Reflections, from 9/11 to the Arab Uprisings


Charles Burdett

The recent emergence and increasing visibility of Islam as Italy’s second religion is an issue of undeniable importance. It has generated an intense and often polarized debate that has involved all the cultural, political and religious institutions of the country and some of its most vocal and controversial cultural figures. This study examines some of the most significant voices that have made themselves heard in defining Italy’s relationship with Islam and with the Islamic world, in a period of remarkable geopolitical and cultural upheaval from 9/11 to the Arab Spring. It looks in detail at the nature of the arguments that writers, journalists and intellectuals have adduced regarding Islam and at the connections and disjunctions between opposing positions. It examines how events such as military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq or the protests in Tahrir Square have been represented within Italy and it analyses the rhetorical framework within which the issue of the emergence of Islam as an internal actor within Italian civil society has been articulated.


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9/11 55n43, 93–4 Fallaci’s La rabbia e l’orgoglio 16, 23–32, 35, 40, 43–4, 69–70 Terzani’s Lettere contro la guerra 73 Abbas, Wael 176 Abd al-Waliyy Gianpiero Vincenzo, Ahmad 93–4, 106 Abdallah, Ahmed 176, 194n56 Abdel Qader, Sumaya 158n11 Porto il velo 135, 153, 154–5 Abla, Mohamed 176–7, 193n41 Acconcia, Giuseppe 207n13 Afghanistan, Terzani’s Lettere contro la guerra 73, 85 Agamben, Giorgio 48 Ahmida, Ali Abdullatif 191n18 Al-Aswany, Alaa 171–2, 176–7 epigraph 163 Al-Ghannouchi, Rachid 192n24 Al-Najjar, Abdul Majeed 169, 192n24 Allam, Khaled Fouad ‘boundary of fear’ 104 L’Islam spiegato ai Leghisti 95, 110–11, 118–19, 122n13 Il jihadista della porta accanto 203–4 Allam, Magdi Cristiano 7–10 Europa Cristiana Libera 113–15, 200 Grazie Gesù 113–15 Io amo l’Italia 112 Vincere la paura 35–8, 48–51, 111–12, 127n65 Allievi, Stefano 123n16 COREIS 124n29 emergence of Islam in Italy 1–2 everyday reality of mixité 111 La guerra delle moschee 100 Islam italiano 96, 98–100, 101, 103, 104–5, 109–10, 120 Italian politics and Islam 55n51 responses to Fallaci’s ‘trilogy’ 24, 45–7, 50–1, 94, 96, 124n33 Rome’s central mosque 101–2 Ucoii 54n29 Amato, Giuliano 107 Andall, Jacqueline, and Duncan, Derek 206n4 Anderson, Benedict 151 anti-Semitism 45–6 anticipation studies 199 Arab Spring 190n2 see also Arab uprisings Arab uprisings 18, 163–90, 203 Arendt, Hannah 104 Arielli, Nir 206n5 art and revolution 175 films and documentaries 179–81, 182, 183 poetry 182...

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