• 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
Banksy's biggest collection of works get Rome display
The largest ever collection of artist Banksy's work is set to be exhibited in Rome. Salvatore Vastano/AFP

The pieces have all been leased from private collections.

Naples bids to smash world record with 2km pizza
The current record is held by a 1595 metre pizza built in Milan, pictured above. Photo: AFP Photo / Olivier Morin

The monster margherita will be baked along the city's seafront.

Italy's long-awaited gay unions bill ready for final vote
Italy's Senate approved the civil unions bill in February. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The lower house of parliament will vote on the bill on May 12th.

Glamorous M5S candidate tops Rome mayor race
The Five Star Movement's Virginia Raggi is leading the race to become Rome's mayor. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Virginia Raggi of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S), is leading polls to become mayor of the capital.

Refugee crisis
EU leaders meet amid Italy fears of new migrant influx
Matteo Renzi fears Italy will become the new migrant frontline after the closure of the so-called Balkan route. Photo: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP

As the EU braces for more turbulence notably with next month's "Brexit" referendum in Britain as well as renewed Greek debt talks, Italy is keen to keep the focus on forging a joint plan over migrants.

Food-nabbing gulls go beserk in Venice's St Mark's Square
Venice is contemplating spraying Saint Mark's square with gull repellent to stop the aggressive birds from attacking people. Photo: Bryce Edwards/Flickr

“We are trying to protect ourselves as best we can but the birds no longer fear humans.”

Ranieri is 'King of England', says his 96-year-old mum
Leicester City's manager Claudio Ranieri (C) is mobbed by fans as he leaves an Italian restaurant after having lunch with the team on Tuesday. Justin Tallis/AFP

"I started crying at the end of the game."

Disgraced Italian surgeon defends work in first interview
Italian surgeon Paolo Macchiarini has defended himself in an interview with a Swedish magazine. Photo: Lorenzo Galassi/TT/AP

"The complications are not related to the transplant."

Migrants get Pakistani chef amid 'bad' Italian food revolt
Migrants in Emilia-Romagna have been given a new Pakistani cook after they complained about the Italian food on offer. Renata F. Olivera/Flickr

“Many of us have eaten Italian food before in England and Germany, and it was better than this.”

The Who name two Italian dates for 50th anniversary
The Who have announced two concerts in Italy this summer. Photo: Theo Wargo/AFP/Getty Images

The legendary British rockers will play in Bologna and Rome this September.

Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Society
Cheese, wine and family: the Italian way to live beyond 100
Culture
7 breathtaking alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
Politics
Long-term Brit in Italy barred from EU vote vows to fight on
Health
Why Italian merry widows perk up after husbands die
National
Italian stuns talent show with 'living Caravaggio' paintings
Lifestyle
It's a long life for Italians as number of centenarians triples
Culture
Mussolini museum project awakes demons of Italy's past
International
How real is the threat from dormant Isis cells in Italy?
Health
Homeless snub famous Italian chef's vegan dishes
Shakespeare and Italy: A literary love affair
Culture
Happy 70th Vespa! The history behind Italy's famous scooter
Piaggio
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The history of the Vespa, Italy's famous scooter
Lifestyle
The top five free smartphone apps for learning Italian
National
Italy dismisses beach terror plots report
Features
The strange history behind five everyday Italian words
Politics
Should Italy really be getting so cosy with Iran?
National
Are 500,000 cats the solution to Rome’s rat crisis?
Politics
Walls go up in Europe again: Austria raises 'migrant fence'
Lifestyle
The next Copenhagen? Bari plans €7.9m seafront revamp
Culture
Lost €120 million Caravaggio 'found in a leaky French attic'
2,556
jobs available