Outrageous: Muslim man arrested for dancing on altar of Florence’s Basilica

This boils my blood.

Apparently a Muslim man brought a boom-box to the Basilica of Florence, turned on Michael Jackson’s song “Bad”, and began dancing on the high altar. Here is the video.

Details beyond this are sketchy, but one report I found in Italian mentioned something about the man praying in Arabic constantly after he was detained in a cell. I realize there is a possibility that the man is mentally unstable but to execute something so precisely mocking of a sacred space and then to be detained afterwords so calmly seems to go against such a theory. He appears to wait and expect to be arrested once he sees security arrive.

I’ll follow-up on this story more if I see anything more about it. I feel obliged to point out that this will probably receive scant mention in the mainstream media, even though if a Christian were to do something so mocking at a mosque it would get more attention, and local Christian leaders would feel obligated to apologize to the local Muslim authorities. I have seen no reports that local Muslim leaders have in fact issued any such conciliatory comment.

As for the man, God have mercy on his soul. I wonder what circle of hell Dante would say awaits him unless he repents.



  • Leigh

    Thomas…..IF your story is correct, it is to be seen as a very disrespectful action by an individual and he should be dealt with accordingly by the local police etc. What I dont understand is the comment you make about this not showing up in the “mainstream media”. I have looked on the APwire, News from the Vatican, CNN, FoxNews (if you want to call that mainstream) BBCnews, Huffington Press, Basilica news etc. This does not appear in ANY of the above mentioned sites. The Vatican News today has a headline that reads “Homer Simpson is a Catholic” dont you think that if this is really a case of “muslim vs catholic” it would show up somewhere….especailly in the Vatican news. I may be speaking too early and Im not saying that this didnt happen. I watched the video. I think that you as a “blogger” or a journalist (what is your title exactly?) have a moral obligation to make sure that your story holds water. Then report the truth and THEN let people make their own comments. I understand that you add your opinions to articles which is great. I just think you have to be more responsible in putting out the true story first. The other comment that I want to point out is when you say “I wonder what circle of hell Dante says awaits him unless he repents”. It sounds to me like you would almost rather have this man NOT repent just to see what happens. It is a little disturbing to me. Obviously this single individual that did this is probably a little crazy, maybe it was a dare, maybe it was more than that. The point is….you really dont know for sure that he was muslim etc. This is hype on your part at this point and kind of reminds me of the gossip I hear from the ladies on tennis court or the 7th grade girls that I took to the movies and for pizza on Saturday. Be more responsible….please.

    • Courtney

      Just out of curiosity, Leigh, why do you think a journalist from the mainstream media is more trustworthy than Thomas Peters? He’s proven to have trustworthy sources in the past. In this case specifically, there’s video of the incident, and the post above mentions an Italian report.

    • Vermont Crank

      The Vatican News today has a headline that reads “Homer Simpson is a Catholic” dont you think that if this is really a case of “muslim vs catholic” it would show up somewhere….especailly in the Vatican news


      The Vatican rarely responds to acts of Muslim terror and aggression against it.

      It prefers to chat rather than act.

      Ibn Warraq (“Why I am not a Muslim”)has experience with that pattern:

      But when presented with actual opportunities to “interweave America’s Muslim population into the mainstream society,” Rauf and most of his fellow Muslims decline. Nearly ten years ago, I was the guest of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) of Rome. PISAI is dedicated to interfaith dialogue between Christians and Muslims. But as the director at the time said to me, “There is no real dialogue, since Muslims never reciprocate the goodwill gestures made by the Christians. The result is we sit down together, and the Christians say what a wonderful religion Islam is, and the Muslims say what a wonderful religion Islam is.” Rauf was invited to give a sermon in a church and did so, but he never reciprocated by inviting a Christian to give a sermon in a mosque. This, for Rauf and his ilk, would be unthinkable.

      If The Vatican identified Islam as the mortal enemy it is, and always has been for nearly 14 Centuries, it would be then placing a heavy burden upon itself to act.

      Few in the West are courageous enough to identify Islam as an enemy because folks get killed for telling that truth.

      It is so much more pleasant to pretend that all religions are basically the same and that all religions desire basically the same things.

      The Old Catholic Encyclopedia entry, “Mohammed and Mohammedanism,” had it right: In matters political Islam is a system of despotism at home and aggression abroad. The Prophet commanded absolute submission to the imâm. In no case was the sword to be raised against him. The rights of non-Moslem subjects are of the vaguest and most limited kind, and a religious war is a sacred duty whenever there is a chance of success against the “Infidel”. Medieval and modern Mohammedan, especially Turkish, persecutions of both Jews and Christians are perhaps the best illustration of this fanatical religious and political spirit.

      • Bruce

        Vermont, you’re not seeing the forest for the trees. Of course the Church recognizes Islam for what it is…a possessor of only part of the truth. And that is correct, they DO have part of the truth, for they believe in one God. It is their concept of Him that is flawed, as far as we know. Benedict XVI has entered into dialogue with them questioning how they view Him…is he wholly other and not subject to reason or truth (and therefore may condone irrational behavior) or is His very nature to be reasonable and rational (our concept of God)? The Holy Father has put the question to them (Regensberg, 2006) and was pleased to see that the leaders among the faithful Moslems worked together to try and answer his question. The ancient, pagan Greeks had part of the truth as well, for Plato and other philosophers had spoken of one God above all, who by His very nature was Reason itself (i.e., the Logos – which is why John used that GREEK word in his Gospel). It is YOUR job, MY job, and the Church’s job to inform the world who their God is…the one they know is there but know nothing about. This includes Moslems, Jews, Hindus, Protestants, Orthodox, and poorly catechized Catholics. When you start railing, stop listening, and pine for the Orthodox or for stagnant schisms such as the SSPX, you have lost your moorings from the whole truth, which the Church has. You have to be willing to listen.

        • Vermont Crank

          The Catholic Church does not publicly identify the reality that Islam believes in an irrational God who contradicts himself.

          The Islamic word explaining away these absurd contradictions is abrogation


          The Muslim reaction to the Pope’s statements at Regensburg was for them to, collectively, pitch a fit, threaten Catholics, kill a Nun, burn Catholic Churches and their behavior required The Vatican to step-up their security.

          But, since then end of Vatican Two, there is no shortage of Christians who believe in the magic of dialogue.

          As to faithful Muslims, the Jihad warriors/terrorists are the most faithful followers of Allah and Mohammed and his traditions because it is they who actualise Allah’s Commands and it is they who most closely mimic the behavior of Muslim’s “Perfect man,” Mohammed.

          Bin Laden, routinely (he’s prolly dead now) cited Suras of The Koran, and The Hadiths, in justifying his terror activities.

          The idea Bin Laden, or any other Jihadist, “hi-jacked” Islam is but pernicious pro-islamic propaganda intended to keep potential victims ignorant and inattentive.

          • Bruce


            You stated that the Church has not publicly identified the reality that Islam believes in an irrational God. Pope Benedict publicly asked Muslims if they believe in a rational or irrational God in 2006 at the University of Regensberg. If you missed it, refer to it here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html Once you read it, and understand it, you’ll have a much clearer grasp on the ongoing relationship of Christianity to Islam. Resorting to violence and dismissing attempts at dialogue will solve nothing. Absolutely nothing. And its not as if we do not have thousands of years of bloody history to draw upon, leading up to today. Do you actually know any Muslims? Why don’t you ask them what they believe and speak with them about Christianity? Then, you may come to understand why it is always important to ask questions first, before even loading your gun.

          • Bruce

            I’ll add a few things to this discussion as well. Why disparage dialogue with Muslims? I can name numerous examples of Muslims who have converted to Christianity through dialogue and evangelizing discourse. Can you name any Muslims converted to Christianity by the sword? Further, can you point out to us Gospel, Church Father, or Catechismal passages that recommend converting non-believers by the sword and answering violence/persecution with more violence/persecution? Do you understand what apologies are (the defenses of the faith) and why they are written? Hint: Promoting reasoned dialogue is a good answer. Yes, there are some non-believers who cannot be reasoned with. They represent a micro-minority in the major religions (and anti-religions such as atheism). For everyone else, only a few billion or so, reasoned dialogue is a solid bet. You’re seeing Neville Chamberlains behind every tree and under every rock, when they are just not there. Use your head and bury the chest-thumping Christian soldier routine. It only gets you killed intellectually, and often, physically and spiritually as well.

      • leigh

        That all may be true…or not. My point was WHY would this story NOT be showing up ANYWHERE in the news or online or ANYWHERE other than religious based articles. As of this morning I was still unable to find it. I dont believe everything I read and in this case I dont speak Italian so I cannot understand what this newcaster is saying. I dont like for any group of people to take a “hit” when one individual does something bizarre and disrespectful. I would like more info please. If the story is true then so be it…..If its not true than Thomas would surely print some kind of update so that we all dont have the wrong idea about this incident. At least thats what I would prefer….but I do know that the world does not revolve around me but a girl can dream!

  • Jan

    Concerning your phrase . . . “if a Christian were to do something so
    mocking . . .”, well, I posit that even the PROPOSED burning of the Koran brought such a hissy-fit among the Muslims that they killed a number of Christians and instigated an international panic as to the further repercussions of the actual deed, that it had to be stopped one way or another.
    It is my sincere hope that we as Catholics bring to the fore this altar desecration deed to international awareness handeling it in such a way as to impress upon the reasonable mind that this act was serious and needs to have just punishment in a civil court. Further, as The Instument of Mercy in the world, the Church would forgive the culprit (repentence would be pretty swell here, but not crucial – I think of John Paul the Great here showing great mercy to his would be assassin [side note: I just looked up “assassin” to get the spelling right to find that it originally was the word for a Muslim who killed Christian leaders during the Crusades!!!])
    Yet, serious as this is, we are not going to kill anyone over this. But yet, it is because we value life, not because we don’t care if this sort of thing happens.
    Let’s pray that through the proper handeling of this incident and God’s infinite Grace, many Muslims will be converted to God our Father, rather than suffering with a god who is their master.

  • Vermont Crank

    I saw the video and my first response was to think – why were no Catholic men rushing forward to tackle this savage and haul his ass out of The Sanctuary?

    What has happened to Catholic men?

    • Vermont Crank

      Feminism and homosexualism is what has happened to Catholic men and that is why they sat there in The Basilica of St. Mary of The Flower and did nothing. And here is how it happened:

      Man up. FAST

      The Body of Christ is severely weakened (almost to the point of death) having been infected by the two deadly STDs (Socially Transmitted Diseases) of Feminism and Homosexualism. And The Body of Christ became weak and subject to infection because we, as Christians, have abandoned the ancient practices of Penance, especially fasting.

      Luke 13:3 … but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.

      Consider Friday; a Universal, Mandatory Day of Penance. How many of us, instead of performing Penitential Acts, will be eating barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, or standing patiently before The Carving Station at the local Mr. Creosote Café?

      Scourged and lashed by the Flagrums wielded by Feminists and Homosexuals, The Catholic Church has been driven to its own Calvary and the very worst part of that savage truth is that we have done it to ourselves by laxity in Penance and, especially, Fasting from flesh.

      On Fridays, we Christians are fast to McDonalds and Last to Fast and so we have become weak girlie-men and our Church has become a sick joke.

      Compare your local Parish to your local Orthodox Church.

      Can you even imagine the men in those Orthodox Churches doing nothing if their Bishop began The Divine Liturgy with a joke and then proceeded to change the words of their Sacred Rite? They’d throw him out of The Church on his ear.

      Can you imagine your Orthodox brothers sitting passively by while brain-dead barbarians came into their Church and began removing The Iconostasis and replacing it with some Felt Banners festooned with Renew Tree images?

      Could you imagine your Orthodox brothers sitting by passively while a Muslim danced on their Altars to a Michael Jackson song?

      Of course you can’t imagine Orthodox men sitting still for that. The Orthodox Church is still run by men, not feminised and homosexualised males,and the Orthodox Church is filled with men, not feminised and homosexualised males,and one significant reason the Orthodox Church retains Tradition and remains masculine is that they, largely, have retained the ancient disciplines of Penance and Fasting.

      Of course old school Catholics know there is an Iron Law that teaches that where there is a decrease in Penance and Fasting axiomatically there will be an increase in femininity and perversion:

      “The Liturgical Year,” Dom Gueranger: The History of Lent

      “Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, and of private woe.’More than a hundred years have elapsed since this solemn warning of the Vicar of Christ was given to the world; and during that time, the relaxation he inveighed against has gone on gradually increasing. How few Christians do we meet who are strict observers of Lent, even in its present mild form![22]

      And must there not result from this ever-growing spirit of immortification, a general effeminacy of character, which will lead, at last, to frightful social disorders?”

      As old school laymen in The Catholic Church we know we can not rely on The USCCB to restore what they destroyed. We are going to have to do it ourselves. It is crystal clear that we Christian men have been our own worst enemies.

      It is time to Man Up and FAST and do Penance and strengthen The Body of Christ so it can cast-off its deadly afflictions of Feminism and Homosexualism and the Hootenanny Mass.

      And what is with the ONE hour fast and abstinence before Communion?

      Hell,I could eat Eggs Benedict, Home Fries, and Bacon, throw-down Three Bloody Marys, finish before 8:00 A.M. and STILL be Jake to go to Communion at the 9:00 A. M Mass. Are you kidding me? THAT is penitential?

      No, but that is why Catholic men stood-by, passively, while a Muslim desecrated their Cathedral’s Holy Altar.

      That passivity ought to be a wake-up call. But it won’t be.

      Allowing Holy Consecrated Altars to be danced upon is going to construed as somehow acting Christ like.

      Last Spring, I was in that Cathedral with my wife. I will guarantee you that if anyone tried that stunt in my presence, I’d have grabbed him and dragged him out of the Sanctuary.

      Because it is the case that The Altar represents Jesus, the Muslim was dancing on Jesus and so it is true, as Bruce claimed, that the action gives us an opportunity to at as Christians, but standing-by idly while some Muslim dances on the Altar is not acting Christ-like.

      It is the action of another Judas, not another Jesus

      • Bruce


        You need to remember that the Orthodox Church is in schism with the Body of Christ, and while there are many holy men (and women!) in that church, they are still separated and in need of the fullness of the faith. That said, yes, the Church has problems with dissent, but when has it not? Were not the Apostles dissenters of Christ Himself when He walked the earth? Did they not all refuse to believe at one time or another, run away when the going got tough, or outright betray Him? Yes. The same has been true throughout the ages, for we are fallen creatures, and we fall constantly. There was only one Immaculate Conception, and it wasn’t you or I. For all those you rail against, and yes their behaviors are often sinful, you must remember that they are human beings no different than yourself. For your sins, Vermont, and for my sins, we deserve death…eternal and ever-lasting. The same sentence for those you speak of. We are ALL in need of Christ, and therefore, we ALL need to be humble and compassionate. Tell the truth? Of course, but we must do so remembering that WE NEED TO HEAR IT just as much as they.

        • Vermont Crank

          Dear Bruce. I was not writing about Doctrine. I was writing about the actions/behaviors of The Orthodox men and what has been allowed to go on inside their Churches and how that is different than what Catholic men have allowed/allow.

          I have traveled to Greece – Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos – and visited many Churches and did not see one which had been wreckovated.

          And, to me at least, it is not even possible to imagine Orthodox men sitting passively by while some Muslim savage danced on their altars.

          There is an Iron Law that teaches a decrease in Penitential Acts leads to an increase in effeminacy.

          All one has to do is look around to observe the truth of that law.


          What would you do if you were in a Church and a Muslim came inside with a Boom Box, turned it on, and began to dance on the Altar?

          I know what I’d do – grab him and drag his ass out of the Church.

          When he was dancing on the Altar, he was dancing on Jesus and if that is an action that does not call forth a vigorous and forceful male response then I do not know what does.

          Last Spring, I was in Firenze/Florence; and I was inside The Basilica of St. Mary of The Flower, and if I had been there the other day, that clown would not have even made it to the Altar.

          Any video of the incidence would have shown me dragging that clown out of the Basilica.

          The very fact that so many (as of now 7 dislike)object to masculine action is proof itself of how far effeminacy has advanced inside the Body of Christ.

          • Bruce


            You didn’t respond to my post nor address my criticisms, but instead restated what you said before. I would hazard a guess that you’re not interested in opposing viewpoints. With that in mind, all I can say is that you really need to look at this with a Christian mind. In other words, using reason, compassion, and relying on objective truth. If, instead, you approach this scenario using strawman arguments, emotions, and irrational logic, you’ll only continue to be frustrated and ultimately find yourself outside of the Christian community and the Body of Christ.

  • Heidi

    My guess is that if a Christian were to do something like this at a mosque, they would have been executed.

  • bigger_picture

    What an awful thing for him to do. Shameful.

    Though there is plenty of shameful things that happen to mosques as well. Here is a very quick google search:

    Phoenix Mosque vandalized

    Four arrested in Bedouin mosque vandalism

    Threats and intimidation are part of a widening investigation into the vandalism at the site of the planned new Islamic Center in Murfreesboro, TN

    Central Calif. Mosque Vandalism Called Hate Crime

    Mosque vandalism in Hudson, NY

    Disrespect is hardly one-sided.

    • Scott W.

      “Disrespect is hardly one-sided.” No one suggested it was.

  • Bruce

    Well, the Lord has given us a wonderful opportunity to behave as Christians, and forgive this man, but also offer him the Gospel…the truth that his religion has denied from the start. We can be Christ to him…who forgave those who spit on Him, insulted Him, beat Him, and hung Him on a cross to die. What this Moslem fellow did was inflict pain on the Body of Christ, and we must ask ourselves how we can glorify God with this pain we have been given. I say we forgive him and then introduce him to Christ through our actions and words. He is our brother, and bound for eternal damnation, which if we truly love him (and homosexuals, and abortionists, and terrorists) we owe him the truth.



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