Italy: Verona mosque destroyed

Italy's far-right, anti-immigrant Northern League party has started its mission in the new government with bringing down a mosque in the northern city of Verona.


"[The mosque destruction] reinforces Muslim fears of seeing the League in the ruling coalition," Ali Abu Shwaima, the head of Milan-based Islamic Centre, told IslamOnline.net on Saturday, May 24.


Bulldozers brought down last week a building housing a Muslim prayer room in the city.


"I never felt at ease with this mosque," Elisonder Antonneli, the head of Verona city council, said.


"This place will be turned into a park and a car parking space and will be named after (Italian writer) Oriana Fallaci."


Fallaci, who died in 2006, was notorious for anti-Islam stances.


Following the 9/11 attacks, the far-right writer published a book entitled "Rage and Pride" in which she ridiculed the Noble Qur'an.


She has also authored another book "The Force of Reason" in which she warned that Europe was turning into "an Islamic province, an Islamic colony" and that "to believe that a good Islam and a bad Islam exist goes against all reason."


The Northern League has four ministers in Silovio Berlusconi's government, including the portfolio of the Interior.


The League grabbed 8 percent of the vote in last month's general elections, securing Berlusconi's right-wing coalition a comfortable majority in the parliament.


The party has nearly doubled its parliamentary strength from 4.5 percent two years ago.


The Northern League is widely accused of racism with many critics calling it the BNP of Italy, a reference to the British right-wing party.


Its election campaign played on issues such as immigration crime and economic and cultural fears from immigration.


Hard Time


Abu Shwaima, the Muslim leader, said Italian Muslims will face hard times under the far-right league.


"We believe the life of Italian Muslims will get more complicated," he said.


He said Muslims in the city of Verona used to find spiritual comfort at the razed mosque.


"The mosque destruction is sign of spiraling Islamophobia in many European countries," he said.


There are nearly 20,000 Muslims in Verona.


"I used to pray in the mosque for years," an Italian Muslim in Verona told IOL, requesting anonymity.


"But this Friday I went to the mosque for prayers but I could not as it was razed.


"We live in a state of anticipation and fear after the mosque was destroyed and we want Arab and Muslim governments to pile pressures on Italy to stop anti-immigrant and anti-Islam policies."


Abu Shwaima, the Muslim leader, has a similar message.


"We want to tell the Muslim world that mosques' construction in Italy is almost a mission impossible.


"Except for the Milan-based Islamic Center and the Rome mosque, there are no real mosques in Italy."


Last November, former Italian deputy Education Minister and League member Mariella Mazzetto angered Muslims after parading a pig on the site of a planned mosque in the northern city of Padua.


Two months earlier, League senator Roberto Calderoli called for a "Pig Day" protest against the mosque construction in the northern city of Bologna.


In 2006, protesters left a pig's head at a mosque building site in the central Italian city of Tuscany.


Italy has a Muslim population of some 1.2 million, including 20,000 reverts, according to unofficial estimates.


Source: Islam Online (English)

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Call the WAAAAAAAAAAmbulance...

http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/1407/1192668407940rf2.jpg

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Anonymous said...

The mosque has been opened by ONLUS (a charity) but municipal administration acquired the area for 70,000 euro from ONLUS. The municipality bought the right to do what they want to do on their own land. I do not see why muslims, if they wanted to keep the mosque could not buy the land. If they could not (or did not want) to do that they have no reason to complain now.
The article from Islamonline forgot to mention that municipality bought the land, that italian muslims did not buy the land. It did show the event as though municipality acted contrary to the law and insinuated that municipality decision was based on islamophobia as opposed to the real decision-making factor - the wishes of majority of Verona voters

Anonymous said...

The previous comment concerning the fact that the mosque could have been bought by the muslims is correct but misses the point.
The article was certainly hyperbolic, and I, as a muslim, found it a bit overdone; however, the point was NOT that the municipality did something wrong, but that the Northern League bought it on purpose to destroy it and create something named after an Islamophobe as a gesture of hatred and victory.
Imagine if the KKK aquired a black gospel church in the southern US and turned it into a Klan meeting center, because they had the money and were in charge of zoning. It's cruel and puerile.

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Anonymous said...

shaykhdawud

There is something strange in comparing the municipal park named after oriana falaci to a symbol of hatred and victory.
SK, tell me, what victory symbol are you talking about?
As for the KKK - a municipal park is a far cry from being a KKK meeting center. In KKK meeting centre you would not see a black children playing. The children playing in Verona municipal park could be white, black, yellow, buddists, christians or muslims and all the colours/religions in between.
But perhaps you object to them playing together, in a park?

Anonymous said...

SK,
They bought the land. They didn't confiscate it. If this offends you so then how about going back to the Middle East and to Istanbul (Constantinople) and removing the mosques so that the churches that existed there previously could be rebuilt? Give up the Temple Mount. There was a temple there before Mohammed was even born. It belongs to the Jews.

Anonymous said...

Imagine that the democratically elected people of Italy acquired a KKK building and turned it into a park which everyone could enjoy.

Equating the Northern league with the KKK is no different from equating Islam with the KKK.
Islam treated non-muslims as 2nd class citizens, made non-muslims wear yellow badges, forced them to pay jizya, made them live in ghettos. Islam has more in common with the KKK than the Northern League. Muslim women even wear clothes similar to the KKK. Just a different color.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of BS. Muslims, WE DON'T want you in Europe. Go back to the Middle East, you don't get it? You don't want foreigners in the Middle East, we don't ever want you here. In the Middle East they ban license plates with a perceived cross, and you call the Nothern League like the KKK? The whole of Islam is like the KKK, the Northern League wants the KKK out of Italy. Now pack up, and LEAVE. Get it yet?

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c said...

"how about going back to the Middle East and to Istanbul (Constantinople) and removing the mosques so that the churches that existed there previously could be rebuilt? Give up the Temple Mount. There was a temple there before Mohammed was even born. It belongs to the Jews."

That's right! Muslims are nothing but intolerant cry babies who want everyone to accommodate them. Islam's plan is to take over the world and they will fight,kill or convert anyone who gets in their way.

mikao said...

I am here in Italy for one year for studying and as a Muslim I suggest the following:
first: any Muslim shouldn't stay away from his home country for a long period more than one or maximum of two years and this not ofcourse because Muslims are devils like some commentors said but because our cultural doesnot go with this soeciety they will and do not want to understand us
second: our countries are not bad as we imagine it is only bad becuase the western countries want that and that is why they support dictatoric rulers in middle east and they resist democracy in our country and so we should struggle first in our country and If we acheived democracy in our countries we will be even better than USA and Europe in 10 years
I am not joking this is a reality as I am a physician I can now judge our skills in any middle east country is better than any physician here but we lack a good system for administration and some funding allwances.
at the end for all who hate Islam this is the big difference between us and you Islam tought us not to hate anyone on the basis of race,religion or colors but only morals that we judge poeple but you I think you are full of hate and discrimination that why we should go back to middle east