Some years ago, I pointed out how insulted Sicilians felt when some British football supporters whose team was about to play Palermo donned T-shirts emblazoned with what were supposed to be humorous "Mafia" slogans. This kind of insult - and it is an insult to all decent Sicilians - has never really gone away but I had hoped that it was happening less often and that this blog, in a small way, might have contributed to changing people's perception of Sicily abroad.
Therefore I was sad to read this evening that Fabrizio Ferrandelli, a Member of Parliament and vice-president of the Sicilian Antimafia Commission, found himself faced with this kind of tasteless "joke" whilst on holiday in Copenhagen. Dining out last night, he and his wife were upset and angry to see a "pizza mafioso" - the fools in the restaurant cannot even get their grammar right, because it should be "mafiosa"- and a "pizza Al Capone".
To the restaurateurs concerned and anyone else who thinks that this is funny I would like to say the following:
1. There is nothing funny about the Mafia and there never has been.
2. Many Sicilians, and other Italians, have died fighting the organisation and others continue to risk their lives doing so every day.
3. Sicilians who come up against this type of "humour" will be not only justifiably angry but also genuinely hurt and I will be angry and hurt on their behalf.
4. Here is a short history lesson for you.
STOP IT. IT'S NOT FUNNY.
The ungrammatical pizza seems to have disappeared from the restaurant's menu now but the "Al Capone" is still there.
Thanks to Alex for drawing my attention to the story on twitter.