History Never Forgets The Truth
Edoardo Agnelli (9 June 1954 – 15 November 2000) was the eldest son of Marella Agnelli (born Donna Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto) and Gianni Agnelli, the industrialist patriarch of Fiat. He was an Italian Muslim martyr whose body was found dead under a bridge outskirts of Turin. Life Agnelli was born in New York to Italian parents (his maternal grandmother was American). After studying at Atlantic College, he read modern literature and oriental philosophy at Princeton University. After leaving Princeton he travelled in India, pursuing his interest in oriental religion and mysticism, and Iran. According to La Repubblica Agnelli’s preoccupations became increasingly erratic, “Mysticism, Franciscanism, Buddhism, lectures against Capital, praise of the poor, criticism of the behaviour of Fiat. He was against materialism which made him move in a different direction. As an adult Agnelli claimed to be the heir apparent to the Fiat empire, but his father, who had already been unhappy with Edoardo’s timidity when he was a child, ensured that he would not inherit it.
The only official position which the younger Agnelli held in the family businesses was as a director of Juventus football club, in which capacity he was present at the Heysel disaster. In 1990 Agnelli was charged in Kenya with possession of 7 ounces of heroin, to which he pleaded innocent. The charges were later dropped. Converting to Islam Edoardo Agnelli reportedly converted to Islam in an Islamic center in New York where he was named “Hisham Aziz”. Then he met Ayatollah Khamenei in Iran and was reported to have converted to Shia Islam. Agnelli declared faith to Fakhroddein Hejazi and became a Shia Muslim. Martyrdom In November 2000, 46-year-old Agnelli’s body was found, near Turin, on a river bed beneath a motorway viaduct, on which his car was found too. The viaduct is known as the bridge of suicides. The death was suspected by investigators to have been a suicide. There is no source which has confirmed that the death was a suicide. There are some obscure points regarding the death of Angelli some of which are addressed in a book entitled “Eighty meters of mystery” by Giuseppe Puppo who has conducted an investigation into Angelli’s death using interviews and unpublished testimonies. Giuseppe Puppo regards some of the points as inconsistencies and oddities: the absence of the bodyguards of Edoardo Agnelli; the interval of two hours between leaving home and the arrival on the Fossano viaduct; the cameras of the Agnelli, whose images have never been seen; the telephone traffic on the two phones; the total absence of witnesses along a road section which records the passage, at that time, of at least eight cars per minute; the lack of fingerprints on the car; the hurried burial without autopsy. According to Marco Bava, a financial analyst and friend of Edoardo Agnelli, Agnelli would never have committed suicide and he would leave a note to justify his action, if he suicided.
A 2001 Iranian documentary film claimed that Agnelli was the victim of a Zionist plot to prevent a Muslim becoming head of Fiat. Corriere della Sera wrote that, after Agnelli’s death, “fundamentalists in Iran decided to construct the myth”, and an Iranian television crew came to Italy to make a documentary the following year. In 2003, the documentary was circulated by FARS, an Iranian press agency. According to Corriere della Sera, the story is also enshrined at the Museum of Martyrs of Islam at Imam Sadiq University, Iran, which contains a portrait-shrine dedicated to Agnelli. A Shiite Martyr “Reopen the inquest on Edoardo Agnelli”. If a protest is staged in front of the Italian embassy in Tehran, students at Imam Sadegh University have promised to wave photos of a lean, lanky man with a stick who often came to visit them in the 1990s. A short distance away is the Museum of Martyrs of Islam, where a section is given over to non-Iranian “shahid” and others who have done something for the Cause. For years, a portrait-shrine has been dedicated to the FIAT heir and a chatty attendant tells visitors the most famous of the urban legends about Italian “Zionism”. The story has it that Edoardo converted to Islam and did not commit suicide. He was actually killed so that the Agnelli empire would not end up in the hands of a Muslim. This rumor became news. It is publicized in Italy through the www.edoardo.ws web site, which carries photos and documents attributed to the deceased, without any direct testimony. Behind the story is one, indeed the only, well-known fact: Edoardo Agnelli’s tormented religious feelings. Agnelli appeared one day at the Iranian embassy in Rome, identified himself and was granted a meeting with Ayatollah Khomeini in the holy city of Qom. A few years later, he is alleged to have returned to Tehran for a Friday of prayers with Ayatollah Khamenei. Agnelli is also said to have left many impassioned writings: “May Allah guide you, protect you and be with us always… There will be no new religion after Islam”. This is the Edoardo Agnelli who sought God, wherever he was. But where does the martyrdom come in? When Agnelli jumped from the road bridge at Fossano on 15 November 2000, fundamentalists in Iran decided to construct the myth.
The following year, a television crew came to Italy to make a documentary. They took shots of the location where Edoardo Agnelli died, and of the FIAT factory gates, interviewing Muslim students in Italy and a hojatoleslam who certified his conversion. All this was in support of documentary’s thesis that the Islamised Agnelli was “ostracised by the Zionist branch of the Elkanns”. The claim is that there was a war over the Agnelli estate masking a war of religion. Today, the documentary has cult status on Iranian television. It is frequently repeated in prime-time slots and is also available on DVD. It offers no evidence. However, the programme has become a mark of distinction for its makers. On the day before Christmas Eve 2001, at the height of the 9/11 crisis, the four members of the television crew were arrested in Rome while they were shooting near the Vatican. The four were questioned to find out who they were and detained for 24 hours. They were then handed over to the Iranian embassy and repatriated with little further explanation. This is an ideal pretext to accuse Italy of wanting to censure the truth. Demonstrators can shout in the streets, now that it serves a purpose, that the martyrdom is not just an urban legend. His spiritual curiosity and rebellion against materialism took him closer to spiritual and eternal life with the flavor of a sweet martyrdom.
By: H. S Yeganeh.
Source: VON Press