Leave it to the Italians. Please.
The Italian government has implemented a plan to give over 500,000 18-year-olds in the country a voucher worth more than $500 each. The vouchers allow recipients to visit cultural venues and museums for free, pay reduced prices for concerts and take in movies gratis. The money is being distributed to every 18-year-old European Union citizen in the country, but is at heart an attempt to send a message to militant groups.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced the program last year, stating that it would be a way to defeat terror organizations on an ideological level, as opposed to just engaging in military efforts. We all know that military efforts haven’t been the Italian’s forte since the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, but this is inanity on steroids. Renzi forwarded the proposal just days after the recent Paris attack killed 130 people. Italy’s youth unemployment rate is 35%. The idea behind the program is to keep the youths occupied so they don’t become radicalized.
“They imagine terror, we answer with culture. They destroy statues, we love art. They destroy books, we are the country of libraries,” Renzi stated. They don’t just imagine terror, Prime Minister. What could possibly go wrong with paying for thousands of Islamic youths to enter your iconic cultural venues?
Maina Kiai, United Nations special “rapporteur” commenting on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, exclaimed in a recent interview: “It is hard to say what is the best approach. But what we can say is what is the wrong one: a spying system that stigmatizes and excludes people.”
Mr. Renzi and Mr. Kiai, with all due respect, what the hell are you thinking? Do you actually believe that Muslims that are otherwise prone to commit terrorist acts will flock to the Vatican Museums, the Basilica of Saint Mark, the Duomo di Milano, the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, and the Sistine Chapel because they have been bribed? Or that they harbor a deep-seated desire to catch an REO Speedwagon or Andrea Boccelli concert or to ooh and ahh to the marvels of Western cinema?
You do realize that you’ve just decided to spend $300 million to encourage potential Islamic extremists to reconnoiter your ancient landmarks and other important cultural venues, right? You are on record as saying: “They imagine terror, we answer with culture. They destroy statues, we love art. They destroy books, we are the country of libraries,” and you are trying to get more of them into your museums and libraries?!”
What’s next in the West? Are we going to pay people not to commit murder? Not to rob a bank? Not to jaywalk? Not to engage in breaking and entering? Not to have an abortion?
Maybe we should just re-legitimize the Ten Commandments.