Italy: Federation of Italian mosques to be unveiled

Italy's outgoing interior minister, Giuliano Amato, was expected to unveil a proposed federation of Italian mosques in Rome on Wednesday.

The federation is intended to replace the Consulta Islamica, a body set up by the government in 2005 to represent Italy's various Muslim groups.

Amato put the Consulta Islamica on hold after some members, including Nour Dachan, from Italy's largest Islamic group - the Union of Islamic Communities of Italy - refused to sign a 'charter of values' for Italy's religious minorities last year.

Amato's predecessor, Giuseppe Pisanu, who created the Consulta envisaged the 16-member body as a vehicle for dialogue with moderate Muslims in Italy and to combat terrorism.

Amato has in recent months been working with consultants on his proposed federation of Italian mosques, unnamed sources told Adnkronos International (AKI).

The federation would be headed by Rome's mosque (photo) which represents 22 mosques from central Italy, according to the sources.

Under the proposal the federation would contain another 25 mosques from the north of Italy, that are linked to the Union of Italian Muslims, led by the imam of Turin, Abdelaziz Khaounati, sources said.

Amato was expected to present a blueprint of the plan to journalists on Wednesday. It has the support of most members of the Consulta Islamica who signed the charter of values.

Amato launched the charter after the UCOII published an advertisement in several Italian newspapers likening Israel's actions in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories to Nazi atrocities during World War II.

Source: AKI (English)

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