Italian editor and critic of Islamic extremism Magdi Allam, who converted to Catholicism from Islam and was baptised by Pope Benedict XVI, today branded his former faith as intrinsically violent.
"I had to do this (abandon Islam)", Allam wrote in a long letter to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. "Beyond ... the phenomenon of extremists and Islamist terrorism at the global level, the root of evil is inherent to a physiologically violent and historically conflictual Islam," wrote the Egyptian-born journalist, who says he has received death threats and is under police protection.
One of seven adults baptised during an Easter vigil yesterday evening, Allam, 55, is an editorial writer and deputy editor at Corriere.
Regarding a combative tone that has made him famous in Italy, Allam wrote: "Over the years my spirit has been freed from the obscurantism of an ideology that legitimises lies and deception, violent death that leads to homicide and suicide, blind submission to tyranny."
(Source: Agence France-Presse article reprinted in Australia's Daily Telegraph.)