Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa warned Italy’s Muslims to halt further “provocations” after thousands held prayers in public squares in Milan during pro-Palestinian demonstrations last week. La Russa said that he did not oppose the protests or deny people the right to prayer, but called the public nature of the events a challenge to peace. “I say enough of the provocations of Islamists in Milan. What would have happened if a group of Christians gathered together to pray with a rosary before Mecca? They probably would have been stoned,” said La Russa. Members of the local Muslim community later apologized for the events in Milan.