Qaddafi returns to Rome

Media machine and Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qadaffi pitched his infamous tent for his fourth Italian trip in the last year on Sunday, and wasted very little time in adding to his list of classics when commenting on Europe’s immigration problems: Libya turns to the European Union to support what Libya asks because Europe, in ...

Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images
Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images
Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images

Media machine and Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qadaffi pitched his infamous tent for his fourth Italian trip in the last year on Sunday, and wasted very little time in adding to his list of classics when commenting on Europe's immigration problems:

Libya turns to the European Union to support what Libya asks because Europe, in the future, might not be Europe any more but might turn black because of all the illegal immigrants.

It gets better:

Media machine and Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qadaffi pitched his infamous tent for his fourth Italian trip in the last year on Sunday, and wasted very little time in adding to his list of classics when commenting on Europe’s immigration problems:

Libya turns to the European Union to support what Libya asks because Europe, in the future, might not be Europe any more but might turn black because of all the illegal immigrants.

It gets better:

We don’t know what will happen, what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans … We don’t know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions.

(Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was standing right next to Qaddafi when he made his comments.)

Qadaffi and Berlusconi are apparently firm friends. In 2008, Berlusconi signed an agreement granting the North African nation $5 billion over 25 years as reparations for Italy’s former colonial rule. Last year, Qaddafi agreed to take in migrants intercepted at sea by Italy, and he is now requesting an additional $6.3 billion to help pay for costs associated with the policy. Controversially, Italy does not screen the migrants for refugee status before shipping them back across the Mediterranean to squalid detention camps.

While in Rome, Qaddafi also delivered an address to a few hundred women — selected by a modeling agency — in which he encouraged them to convert to Islam:

May Islam be the religion of all of Europe, convert to Islam, the true religion.

Three women allegedly converted on the spot. (He made a similar pitch last November.) The visit also included a horse show — for which Qaddafi brought 30 Berber horses — on Monday.

Can someone get this man on Twitter?

Andrew Swift is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.
Tag: Libya

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.