• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Italy's city plan ruling sparks mosque row

The Local · 9 Jan 2015, 15:52

Published: 08 Jan 2014 12:07 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Jan 2015 15:52 GMT+01:00

The decision by Lombardy’s administrative court (Tar) goes against the northern region’s urban planning office (Pgt), which the court said did not give enough consideration to the needs of religious communities outside the Catholic Church.

The debate centres around service plans for the city of Brescia, which the court said made no reference to the needs of non-Catholic citizens, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

In its ruling, the court said that each administration needed to take a snapshot of society and devise a plan based on that reality, without prejudice, the newspaper said.

The decision in Lombardy should make it easier for other religious groups to gain permission to open centres of worship.

Sarita Agerman, a Muslim woman living in Bologna, told The Local the decision could be "good for tourism".

"I received weekly emails from Muslims, especially young women, who want to know if such and such a city is 'Muslim-friendly'. Knowing that there is an official mosque would make a city [in Italy] much more welcoming for visitors," she said.

Muslim women coming to Italy - often as medical or engineering students or as qualified workers - are nervous that there may not be enough safe places to pray. Allowing for purpose-build mosques in Italian cities "would mean that Muslim women would be catered for and feel part of the community, both Muslim and Italian," Agerman said.

But Roberto Maroni, president of the far-right Northern League (Lega Nord) party, said the move was a “disgraceful judgement” which “forces each city to have a mosque”.

Maroni was quoted in Brescia Today as saying his party was "already studying appeals and remedies to prevent the spread of the virus."

His statement was met with criticism from Khalid Chaouki, MP for the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and coordinator of the parliamentary group on immigration.

Story continues below…

“To Marino, we say with strength that the true and only virus to eradicate is his racist propaganda that tries to, in a shamefully inexperienced way, hinder the religious freedoms of our country,” Chaouki was quoted in Brescia Today as saying.

“The right to worship for all religious communities is a principle of the Italian constitution,” Chaouki added in support of the court’s decision.

Don't miss a story about Italy - Join us on Facebook and Twitter

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Migrant crossings to Italy - what do we know?
A report this month said there were around 800,000 migrants in Libya waiting to attempt the journey across the Mediterranean. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

With 13,000 people rescued in one week and hundreds presumed drowned, what do we know about migrant flows across the Mediterranean to Italy?

Italian gran drives wrong way along motorway...for 7km
The 80-year-old was heading home after going for pizza in Alghero, Sardinia. Photo: Cost of Living/Flickr

The 80-year-old was returning home – in pouring rain - to Sassari after spending the evening with friends at a pizzeria in Alghero, Sardinia, but took the wrong direction on the SS 291.

Video
Severe storms and flash floods wreak havoc in Milan
Severe storms caused flash floods in Milan on Monday. Photo: YouReporter

A hospital accident and emergency unit was flooded, while the River Lambro burst its banks.

Rome risks rubbish pile-up as binmen strike
An overflowing bin in front of the Pantheon, Rome. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Rome residents fear a national rubbish collection strike will cause the city's waste problems to spiral out of control.

Quiz
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
Donald Trump and Silvio Berlusconi have much in common: Photos: Ethan Miller/AFP (L) and Tiziana Fabi/AFP (R)

With their perma-tans, riches and love of women, Donald Trump and Italy’s three-time prime minister Silvio Berlusconi are strikingly similar.

Ex-boyfriend of Rome student found burning to death probed
Prosecutors in Rome have opened a murder investigation. Photo: The Local

The student's burning body was found by her mother in the early hours of Sunday.

Italy hunts for more foreign directors in museum shake-up
A new director is wanted for the Roman ruins at Ostia Antica, among other sites. Photo: Sergio e Gabriella trentanni/Flickr

Do you fancy overseeing one of Italy's top cultural sites?

Migrant who survived boat wreck drowns in Italian lake
The migrant died after diving into Lake Sirio in Piedmont. Photo: Ilaria Coradazzi

A 24-year-old from the Ivory Coast who survived a shipwreck in the Mediterranean has drowned in a lake in northern Italy.

Dozens of kids die as boat tragedies claim up to 700 lives
A bout of good weather as summer arrives has kicked off a fresh stream of boats attempting to make the perilous crossing from Libya to Italy. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

A week of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean culminated on Sunday with 700 migrants feared dead and survivors giving harrowing testimony of dozens of small children drowned.

Dozens missing in fresh migrant shipwreck: rescuers
Dozens more migrants are reported missing after a fishing boat sank on Friday. Photo: AFP

The Italian coastguard is searching for survivors after an overloaded fishing boat sank off the coast of Libya.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
National
How Italy's richest region is feeling the migrant strain
Culture
Rome mulls 'metro museum' after new line unearths ruin
National
Why Italy's facing a birth rate apocalypse
National
Why talk of barriers is opening up old wounds in South Tyrol
Culture
Huge Roman villa found under Amalfi church set to open
Travel
Two men kicked off plane in what captain calls 'racist act'
Meet the expats making a career out of Italian food
Society
'Staying single is why I'm the world's oldest person'
Travel
Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?
The ultimate guide to the insanity of driving in Italy
Travel
Eight of Rome's most tantalizing foreign food gems
Migrant arrivals in Italy top 30,000 for 2016: navy
Italy’s deadliest earthquakes over the last 100 years
Travel
US passports now need six months validity for Italy
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
2,526
jobs available