Conversation with Renzo Guolo and Paolo Branca
conducted by Alessandro Mezzena Lona

Before the conversation there will be an award ceremony during which Yasmina Khadra will be presented the new FriulAdria “Una vita per la scrittura” Award.


For those who love to disseminate terror, the Koran is just an excuse”. These are the words of Yasmina Khadra, who then emphasises how the terrorist acts perpetrated in the West are the work of “individuals who follow a sectarian ideology, that do not represent the Muslim religion”. From the voice of a person who is well acquainted with fundamentalism, this is a warning not to identify pseudo-religious terrorism with Islam.
But how does the distorted use of religion that characterises so-called radical Islamism come about? What ideological references are there behind the radicalisation of so many young people, both Arab and European? And how can we respond to the violent questioning of Western values by fundamentalists?
This is what Renzo Guolo and Paolo Branca, some of the greatest experts of the Muslim world and Islamic fundamentalism will be discussing. The journalist Alessandro Mezzena Lona will be conducting the conversation.


Renzo Guolo
teaches Sociology of Islam at the University of Padua and works with several periodicals that analyse politics and culture including “liMes” and “Il Mulino”. He is also a columnist for “la Repubblica” and a number of local newspapers in the Espresso Group. Amongst the works he has published are: L’ultima utopia. Gli jihadisti europei (Guerini, 2015); Chi impugna la croce (Laterza, 2011); Generazione del fronte (Guerini, 2008); La Via dell’Imam (Laterza, 2007); L’islam è compatibile con la democrazia? (Laterza, 2007); Il partito di Dio (Guerini, 2004); Il fondamentalismo islamico (Laterza, 2002).


Paolo Branca
is a lecturer of Arabic Language and Literature and Islamic Studies at the University Cattolica in Milan. Specialised in the problems of the relationship between Islam and the modern world, he has published Voci dell’Islam moderno: il pensiero arabo-musulmano fra rinnovamento e tradizione (Marietti, Genova 1991); Introduzione all’Islam (S. Paolo, Milano 1995); I musulmani (Il Mulino, Bologna 2000); Il Corano (Il Mulino, Bologna 2001); Yalla Italia! Le vere sfide dell’integrazione di arabi e musulmani nel nostro Paese (Edizioni Lavoro, Roma 2007) and, with Barbara de Poli and Patrizia Zanella, Il sorriso della Mezzaluna (Carocci, Roma 2011). He has translated the novel Vicolo del Mortaio (Feltrinelli, Milano 1989) by Egyptian Nobel prizewinner, Nagib Mahfuz.


Alessandro Mezzena Lona 
Born in Trieste in 1958, he is responsible for the culture pages of “Il Piccolo”. He has published essays on Italian literature. In 2013 he won the Mondadori “Grado Giallo” award for the short story Non credere ai santi. He has published the novels La via oscura (Edizione Delos Digital) and La Morte danza in salita. Ettore Schmitz e il caso Bottecchia (Giallo Mondadori). His short story Preghiere all’Aurora is featured in I mari di Trieste (Bompiani).

Tuesday 8 March, 20:45

San Francesco Convent

Pordenone - Via della Motta, 13

Free admission