Milan: More on cathedral prayer

This week Muslims stopped to pray in front of the cathedrals in Milan and Bologne in Italy, while protesting Israel's war in Gaza. Italian blog Wind Rose Hotel points out more details on the mass prayer in front of the Milan Cathedral. The demonstration was organized by Abu Imad. Terrorism charges were dropped against him in 2007 due to the statue of limitations. Later that same year he was convicted of recruiting for Jihad, though he was given only three years because the prosecution said that he had left his terrorist ways. (see IHT and Fox)

It's unclear to me whether he finished his sentence early, or is still free pending appeal.


The rally in Milan was led by the city's Muslim Imam Abu Imad who has been convicted in Italy of terrorism related offences - a fact noted by MP Maurizio Gasparri.

The centre right politician said:'When 10,000 Muslims arrive in front of Milan Cathedral, led by an Imam who has convictions for terrorism then public order needs to be looked at.

'It is evident that this was intended as a threat and the decision to pray and hold the rally in front of the Cathedral is very significant.

'Italy, unlike many Arab countries, is proud of the fact that it allows religious freedom but fundamentalists must not be allowed to gather and present a possible threat.'

Tonight officials in Milan and Rome said they were investigating the rally and would be speaking to organisers as they had not been given permission to stop in front of Milan Cathedral during the rally.


Father Antonio Sciortino, editor of the liberal Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana, told Corriere della Sera that prayers for peace were welcome, "but what matters in prayer is the intention." The prayer services had been exploited by an "extremist fringe", he said. Abu Imad, the imam of the main Milan mosque, said the demonstration had ended up on the cathedral square "by chance" at the hour of prayer, "so we prayed. There was no provocation or insult intended."

Sources: Daily Mail, Times Online (English)

See also: Milan: Controversy over prayer during protest

No comments: