• Italy's news in English
 

Italy's city plan ruling sparks mosque row

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.

“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
Italy to nationalize Ilva steel plant
The Ilva site in Taranto, in the Puglia region of southern Italy, employs over 14,000 people. Photo: Donato Fasano/AFP

Italy to nationalize Ilva steel plant

Italy's parliament approved on Tuesday a government decree temporarily nationalizing the country's loss-making Ilva steel plant, one of the most polluting in Europe, in the hope of finding a new owner. READ  

Spain outstrips Italy and France in wine exports
Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia enjoy some cava on a visit to a Spanish vineyard. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Spain outstrips Italy and France in wine exports

Spain is the biggest exporter of wine in the world, beating Italy and France, according to the latest figures from the Spanish wine market observatory. READ  

Italy to join Ukraine crisis call with Obama
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will join a call with US President President Barack Obama and other European leaders about the Ukraine crisis and other "global security issues". Photo: Tiziana Fab

Italy to join Ukraine crisis call with Obama

President Barack Obama will hold a secure video conference with European leaders to discuss the crisis in Ukraine on Tuesday, as Russia faces possible further sanctions for its role in the conflict. READ  

Video
'Blind' claimant caught using smartphone
One of the suspects was seen driving a car and even using a touch-screen mobile phone. Screengrab: Pupia Crime/YouTube

'Blind' claimant caught using smartphone

Two people claiming a total of €120,000 in disability benefits for total blindness have been arrested in southern Italy after they were spotted engaging in normal activities such as driving, using a touch screen phone and moving around without assistance. READ  

Italian stallions 'bigger men than Germans'
The size of a man’s feet, index finger or testicles could not be used to determine the size of a man’s penis, scientists said. Couple photo: Shutterstock

Italian stallions 'bigger men than Germans'

If recent economic developments have left Italians with an inferiority complex towards Germans, a new British medical study has given the men, at least, reason to stand tall. READ  

Most Italians unhappy with EU leadership
More than half the number of Italians polled by Gallup said they disapproved of the job performance of those leading the EU. EU parliament photo: Shutterstock

Most Italians unhappy with EU leadership

More than half the number of Italians polled about the European Union said they disapproved of the job performance of those leading the economic bloc. READ  

Video
Italian police arrest 52 for armed robberies
The arrests follow an investigation which began in 2010. Police photo: Shutterstock

Italian police arrest 52 for armed robberies

Police in northern Italy on Tuesday arrested 52 people accused of 55 armed robberies as well as kidnapping, international drug trafficking, blackmail and theft. READ  

The Local List
Ten surprising themes from Milan fashion week
Big furry slippers and babies made an appearance at Milan fashion week. Photos: Giuseppe Cacace and Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Ten surprising themes from Milan fashion week

As Milan fashion week hands over the baton to Paris, winding up a whirlwind show which saw historic brands revitalized and young designers triumph, here are ten themes from the autumn/winter 2015 collections. READ  

Juve tighten grip on Serie A top spot
"The season is still long," said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri after the game. Photo: Marco Bertorello AFP

Juve tighten grip on Serie A top spot

Seydou Keita salvaged a point for ten-man Roma in a 1-1 draw with Juventus on Monday that saw the champions retain their nine-point lead at the top of Serie A. READ  

Video
'Cinderella' dresses hit Armani catwalk
Armani's evening wear had a touch of the adolescent about it too, with "Cinderella" dresses. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

'Cinderella' dresses hit Armani catwalk

King of fashion Giorgio Armani closed a whirlwind fashion week in Milan on Monday with an autumn/winter 2015 collection starring "Cinderella" dresses and a new skirt-trousers combo which had fashionistas all in a tizz. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sport
Purrfect catch: Italian twins land giant catfish
National
VIDEO: Massive sinkhole opens up in Naples
Culture
Italians 'don't love' their language
National
In pictures: Italians mock Isis on Twitter
Opinion
Could Isis terrorists really invade Italy?
International
EU to increase migrant aid to Italy
National
Lampedusa: Tiny Italian island swamped by migrant tide
Culture
Italy sells off Mussolini buildings to raise cash
National
Italians are Europe's most reckless drivers
National
Why flirty Italians still don't do online dating
Gallery
Top 10: the most romantic places to propose in Italy
National
Top 10: your favourite Italian words
International
Bond meets Snowden: The HSBC whistleblower
Education
Ten common mistakes Italians make in English
National
What makes life in Bolzano so good?
National
Swiss town's ploy against workers living in Italy 'not racist'
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Travel
How the weak euro is boosting tourism to Italy
Politics
Italy sends mixed signals on Greek debt
National
Top 10 delightfully irrational Italian superstitions
Politics
Sergio Mattarella: Sicilian 'man of the law'
National
10 Italian words used differently in English
National
26-year jail term sought for Concordia captain
Vatican
What did you think of the Pope's rabbit rant?
Culture
Italy seizes more than 5,000 looted artefacts
International
How can an American get Italian citizenship?
Travel
Italian hotel named best in world for families
Culture
Top 15 English words reinvented by Italians
Culture
Top 10: The best Italian inventions
Politics
Deputy Senate chief in Syria hostage sex row
National
A portrait of modern Italy in 10 stats
National
Muslims in Italy react to new Charlie Hebdo
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Culture
Rome's Trevi pays tribute to late La Dolce Vita star
Politics
Paris attacks: Knock-on effects across Europe
National
Should Italy spy more after the Paris attack?
National
Italy moves to widen smoking ban
National
New mosque ban in Padua after Paris attacks
Business & Money
Italy banks on a future with foreign investors
National
Sicily bridge collapses within days of opening
Business & Money
Italy's luxury brands defy economic crisis
International
Why migrant smugglers are using 'ghost ships'
National
The Local's aspirations for Italy in 2015
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

929
jobs available