As we reported earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is on his European victory tour in the wake of the landmark nuclear deal. With long-standing sanctions from Europe lifted as part of the deal, the Iranian leader is making his rounds to capitalize on billions of dollars in new business opportunities. Newsweek reported Italian officials said Rouhani signed contracts worth up to $18.4 billion on Monday.Col. West wrote of the Rouhani’s trip that:
What we’re witnessing is described as dhimmitude, submission, and it will have a lasting effect, long after Obama has left office for the speaking tour…which I’m sure will find its way to Tehran.And in addition to multi-billion dollar deals, there was another highly disturbing form of dhimmitude on display during the Iranian leader’s visit to Italy. In fact, in terms of symbolism, in some ways this is even more disturbing. It’s disgusting.
As the Telegraph reports:
Italy covered up marble statues of nude Roman goddesses in order to spare the blushes of the visiting president of Iran, who is on a visit to Europe to rebuild relations with the West after the recent deal on restricting its nuclear ambitions lifted years of economic sanctions.
But the decision to encase the statues of Venus and other female figures from antiquity prompted outrage from some commentators and politicians.
You have to wonder… if they’d been statues of 72 virgins, would that have been acceptable to these modest Muslims?
The act of self-censorship took place at the Capitoline Museums, one of Rome’s richest repositories of classical art, which the president visited with Matteo Renzi, the prime minister.
The offending statues lined a corridor along which the Iranian delegation passed before holding a press conference.The president’s aides were also reportedly anxious that he not be photographed too close to a giant bronze statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius on horseback.
The Iranians objected to what one Italian newspaper delicately described as “the attributes” or genitalia of the huge horse, which dates from the second century AD.
At the function, wine was not served – again in deference to Iranian sensibilities.
“Italy bowing down to the Iranians like this is embarrassing,” said Daniele Capezzone, a centre-Right MP and a former spokesman for Silvio Berlusconi’s party, Forza Italia.
Covering up the statues added “a touch of the ridiculous” to the state visit, he said.
“Is Italy reduced to this? And to not serve wine, again so as not to ‘offend’?” he asked.
Giorgia Meloni, the head of the centre-Right political party Fratelli d’Italia, joked about what the centre-Left government of Matteo Renzi might be planning for the next visit of a prominent Muslim leader, the emir of Qatar, who will arrive in Rome on Wednesday/today.
“We have to ask ourselves what Renzi has in mind for the arrival this week of the Emir of Qatar – covering St Peter’s in an enormous box?” she wrote on her Facebook page.
“The level of cultural subjection by Renzi and the Left has surpassed the limits of decency.”
Fabio Rampelli, an MP in the same party, said: “The decision to hide the statues offends Western culture. It is shameful and needs to be explained by the minister for cultural heritage.”
Vittorio Sgarbi, an art critic and well-known TV personality, said only “ignorant goats” would have decided to hide the statues away.
“I don’t think President Rouhani would have been surprised to find there were nude statues in Rome,” he said.
Luca Squeri, from Forza Italia, another centre-Right party, called the move “overly zealous”.
He added: “Respect for others cultures should not mean denying our own. This is not respect, it’s submission.”
Well-said, Mr. Squeri. When tolerance becomes a one-way street, it leads to cultural suicide. And now, the old saying, “When in Rome…” no longer applies apparently.
What may be most surprising in this story is that France — where President Rouhani is headed after Italy — is actually showing some backbone on the issue.
During planning for the trip in November, the Iranians asked that wine not be served at the Elysee Palace.
The request was reportedly rejected by French officials, who viewed the whole stand-off as “ridiculous”, according to Le Monde.
Apparently, we’ve discovered France’s line: it will welcome the world’s #1 state sponsor of terrorism — even after two deadly Islamic terror attacks just last year — but it won’t give up its wine. I have to applaud the French for standing firm on that one, at least.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]