Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in Rome for a U.N. food summit, recruited "attractive girls at least 1.70 m tall" to a Rome villa, for a surprise session on Islam.
REUTERS - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in Rome for a U.N. food summit, spent several hours in the company of 200 Italian women recruited by an agency and tried to convert them to Islam, Italian media reported on Monday.
« Seeking 500 attractive girls between 18 and 35 years old, at least 1.70 metres (5 foot, 7 inches) tall, well-dressed but not in mini-skirts or low cut dresses, » read the ad by the Hostessweb agency and quoted in Italy’s Corriere dell Sera newspaper in its story.
Some 200 women showed up at a Rome villa, having been told they would receive 60 euros ($90) and « some Libyan gifts. » Among them was an undercover reporter for Italian news agency ANSA, who took photos and described the evening’s proceedings.
Most had expected to attend a party, according to ANSA, but instead were invited to wait in a large hall until the arrival of Gaddafi, who gave them a lesson on Libya and the role of women in Islam.
After around two hours the lesson, including questions and answers through an interpreter, concluded with an exhortation by Gaddafi to « convert to Islam » and with each woman given a copy of the Koran and a book of sayings by Gaddafi.
« It was anything but the VIP party we were expecting, they didn’t even give us a glass of water, » one woman told ANSA.
Others said they were offended by what they considered anti-Christian aspects of his lesson, including a claim that Jesus was not crucified but that « someone who looked like him » was put to death in his place.
The Libyan ambassador told ANSA that Gaddafi was planning other similar evenings during his three-day stay for the summit.
Date created : 2009-11-17