Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni-led government proposes a law that would ban the religious transformation of garages and warehouses into makeshift, illegal Muslim prayer spaces and also would ban Islamic praying in public.
OpIndia and MiddleEastMonitor (h/t Ghulam) If passed, the law could shut down hundreds of illegal Islamic prayer spaces, a prospect triggering alarm within the country’s 2.5 million-strong Muslim community. The bill would result in the closure of countless illegal Islamic places of worship that are already located within buildings or premises that were not approved by the Italian government.
It is hoped that the bill will stop any potential Islamification of Italy. According to reports, if the bill is passed, all those cultural and religious organizations that have not signed onto an agreement with the Italian state will not be allowed to use any unsanctioned property as a place of WwIn most parts of Italy, the building of mosques is illegal, so Muslims try to get around it by putting up so-called “Islamic Cultural Centers.”
Last year, the Brothers of Italy (FdI party) was elected on the promise of opposing mass Muslim immigration. As an election promise, the Party’s leader in the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Tommaso Foti spearheaded this bill.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is making efforts to reduce Muslim immigration. Last week, She meet the Tunisian leadership to discuss ways to stop illegal immigration from Tunisia into Italy.
However, this draft legislation banning religious prayers outside sanctioned buildings or mosques is not a first of its kind. Earlier, similar legislations, which were also termed anti-mosque legislations, were proposed by right-wing controlled regional councils in Lombardy and elsewhere.
As per media reports, these legislations have been brought keeping in mind the recent immigration from Morocco, the Balkans, and Pakistan. Reports further claim that this has drastically increased the number of Muslim illegal migrants in Italy.
It is worth noting that Islam, despite being among the most widespread in Italy, is the only religion that has not signed an agreement with the Italian state. Apparently, the Italian government does not officially recognize Islam as a state religion.
So far, the Italian government has signed thirteen such agreements with several different churches, and representatives of Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and others. However, no such agreement has been signed with Muslims.
According to a UCOII report published in 2017, there were 1,217 Muslim prayer spaces in Italy. Only six of these were officially mosques – and recognizable as such because of the typical architectural features like minarets – and roughly another 50 were authorized to be used for worship.
The rest were classified primarily as cultural associations but were also used as prayer spaces, with most of them illegally set up in garages, warehouses, apartments and basements, according to the UCOII report.
Outraged by the closing of illegal mosques, Muslims occupy tourist attractions to scare away visitors: