Adel Smith, born in
1960as Emilio Smith in Alexandria, Egypt, is an Italian Muslim known for his radical stances and often accused of fundamentalism. He is the son of a Naples-born Italian architectof Scottish descent and an Egyptian woman. Smith relocated to Italy as a child and later made a living as a translatorfor Arabic-speaking tourists in Rome. Raised as a Roman Catholic, he eventually converted to Islam. He later relocated to Albania, where he worked as a printer, before coming back to Italy and settling in the northern town of Ofena[ [http://www.arcobaleno.net/attualita/AdelSmith.htm ADEL SMITH, chi è l’uomo che vuol togliere il Crocifisso dalle scuole - Attualità di *Arcobaleno* ] ] .
Adel Smith founded the "Union of Italian Muslims" (Unione dei musulmani d'Italia), claiming it to be the most representative Italian muslim association. Critics of Smith, however, contend that his association numbers very few members. He came to preeminence in the Italian media when he requested that a
crucifixbe removed from Ofena's elementary school, of which his son is an alumnus. He was subsequently a regular guest on Italian media venues, where he vehemently attacked Western civilization and Christianity. In 2001, he founded the "Italian Islamic Party" ("Partito Islamico Italiano") [ [http://www.arcobaleno.net/attualita/AdelSmith.htm ADEL SMITH, chi è l’uomo che vuol togliere il Crocifisso dalle scuole - Attualità di *Arcobaleno* ] ] .
He attracted more media attention by demanding that crucifixes in public places (i.e., schools, hospitals, and government offices) be removed. The
Italian Council of State, with the sentence number 556 of 13 February 2006, upheld the display of the crucifix in government-sponsored spaces. Smith was subsequently charged with defaming the Catholic religion in 2006 and sentenced to eight months in prison [ [http://126.96.36.199/siteArchive/catalystmagazine/Default.aspx.LocID-0hgnew0b7.RefLocID-0hg01b001006009.Lang-EN.htm Italy - education and religion ] ] .
Mainstream Italian Muslim organizations have expressed discomfort over the fact that Smith, whose few followers are reported to be for the most part Albanian immigrants, is treated by the Italian media as if he were a genuine Muslim leader [ [http://www.bladi.net/forum/9995-musulmans-ditalie-refusent-combat-crucifix/ Les musulmans d'Italie refusent le combat du crucifix ] ] .
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