Italy: Muslims campaign against ‘Koranic’ toilet seat
Latina and London, 14 Nov. (AKI) – A campaign launched by an imam in central Italy and other local Muslims against a toilet seat featuring verses of the Koran has made it to the frontpage of London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds al-Arabi.
“Uproar in Italy over the ‘Koranic’ toilet seat cover,” screamed a banner headline in the paper – one of the best-selling in the Middle East.
The imam of the mosque in the town of Latina in the central Italian region of Lazio, Sheikh Yusuf, on 26 October heckled interior minister Giuliano Amato about the toilet seat as he presented Italy’s new ‘Charter of values, citizenship and integration’ for immigrants’ at Rome’s Grand Mosque.
“This is an insult to the Muslim faith that we must react to,” Yusuf called out to Amato, who reassured Yusuf, saying: “I would like to tell our friends from Latina that we have been informed of this matter and are taking action because it is offensive.”
Frustrated by the Italian authorities’ apparent inability to ban the offending toilet cover from stores in southern Lazio following complaints from local Muslims, Yusuf and other Muslims took their protest to the Arabic media.
Al-Quds al-Arabi reported that local Muslims are planning further non-violent protests against the toilet seat until it is removed from stores.
Imported from China and sold in Italy by the Orizzonte group, it is still in sale in six towns in the region, including Latina and Frosinone, many of them in local markets, according to the Arabic paper.
But according to local Italian media, a special investigative unit of the police had already begun probing the issue several days before Yusuf’s verbal protest to Amato in Rome last month and seized 212 ‘Koranic’ toilet seats from five supermarkets in the area, where they were on sale at 15 euros a piece.
The toilet seats are imported by a Pomezia-based company, Itsa and arrived aboard container ships at the Lazio port city of Civitavecchia, reports said.