Rome: Grand mosque boycotts radical meeting

Rome: Grand mosque boycotts radical meeting

Rome Grand Mosque's Islamic Cultural Centre has boycotted a meeting being organised by several radical mosques from northern Italy, in a move welcomed by Moroccan immigrants in the country.

"I welcome the decision...moderate Muslims are now more than ever before showing their determination not to comprise with extremists," said centre-right MP for the ruling People of Freedom party, Souad Sbai.

Sbai praised Rome Grand Mosque's director, Abdellah Redouane. " He is ranked among the principal figures representing moderate Islam," she said.

"The fact that out of 10 people invited to attend Saturday's meeting, not a single one is a woman shows how it has been organised by extremists," said Sbai, who is also president of the Moroccan Women's Association in Italy.

Italy's largest Muslim organisation, the Union of Islamic Communities of Italy, UCOII, was organising Saturday's meeting with the northern city of Milan's radical Viale Jenner mosque to be held at a Rome hotel.

At the time of Israel's 2006 July war against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, UCOII sparked controversy when it published an ad in several Italian newspapers likening Israel's actions in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories to Nazi atrocities during World War II.

It was subsequently thrown out of the Consulta Islamica, a body set up by the government in 2005 to represent Italy's various Muslim groups.

The secretary-general Italy's Association of Moroccans, Mustafa Mansouri, said the organisers of the meeting should acknowledge that radical mosques and their preachers cannot claim to be representatives of most Muslims.

"These people and the Italian public need to understand that the so-called imams of these prayer halls cannot represent the Muslim community, given that only a minority attends," he said.


Source: AKI (English)

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