• 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
Italy hosts first Down's Syndrome 'Olympics'
The athletes taking part are dubbed T21s, named after the most common form of Down's Syndrome, trisomy 21. Photo: AFP

The roar from the stands in Florence could not have been louder if it had been stars Usain Bolt or Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on the track.

Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Milan is vying to be Europe's post-Brexit financial and business hub. Photo: Melanie Bowman

Milan has also joined the race among European cities to pick up the post-Brexit spoils should London’s financial institutions choose to shift their operations elsewhere. But is it a viable contender?

Ekberg wannabe says Trevi dip was a 'homage to Rome'
Delilah Jay just before she waded into Rome's Trevi Fountain on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Delilah Jay

“I love Rome, I love Fellini and I love Ekberg – I’ve had so many comments on my Facebook page saying I look very much like her.”

Venice to build new bridge in memory of Bataclan victim
28-year-old student Valeria Solesin was the only Italian victim of the Paris terrorist attacks. Photo: Pierre Teyssot / AFP

Venice, the so-called 'city of bridges', is set to build one more, in honour of the only Italian victim of last November's Paris terrorist attacks.

Italy fears 'Calais-style' camps as migrant backlog worsens
There are 135,000 people waiting in Italian reception centres. Photo: Giovanni Isolino/AFP

Italy is scrambling to find extra places for incoming migrants amid fears the failure of a European relocation plan may result in mass encampments.

Italy to start performing civil unions from mid-August
Italy became the last major country in Europe to recognize same-sex civil unions in May. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Same-sex couples in Italy will finally have the chance to say “I do” from mid-August onwards, Italy's Interior Ministry announced on Thursday.

Italian mayor says sorry for Keita Balde racism
Keita Balde, a Senegalese born in Spain, is one of several black players in Italy's Serie A to have faced racist abuse in the past. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

"Sport is about passion, sharing and friendship. I'm sorry to hear, as the mayor and a sportsman, that some people last night embarrassed the whole city and, in particular, the real fans at the stadium."

Rescue boats recover 17 migrant bodies off Italy
The latest arrivals take the number of migrants to have landed in Italy this year to over 80,000. Photo: Giovanni Isolino/AFP

Since 2014, more than 10,000 migrants have died or are feared to have drowned while attempting the perilous journey to Europe by sea.

Italian police find €0.5 million of artefacts in art thieves' lair
Most of the loot was more than 2,000 years old. Photo Carabinieri Caserta

Police in Terno, Campania, uncovered a spectacular hoard of over 200 stolen historical artefacts worth over €0.5 million on Wednesday, inside the lair of a local gang of art thieves.

Pavarotti's family protest Trump's use of famous aria
Luciano Pavarotti became one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time. Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP

"Nessun Dorma", which became Pavarotti's signature aria and climaxes with the words "Vincero" ("I will win"), has been played often at Trump rallies.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
Travel
Escape the heat at one of these beautiful Italian lakes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Why the UK is now officially crazier than Italy
Culture
How you can stay cool like an ancient Roman
Lifestyle
Food for thought: fight on to save Med diet from extinction
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
From asylum seeker in Italy to organic yoghurt entrepreneur
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Fifteen maps that tell the story of Italy
National
Why Italy might be the next big threat to the EU's future
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Politics
Post Brexit, less than a third of Italians want to leave EU
Politics
The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy
Culture
Eight wonderful things to do in Italy in July
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
National
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
2,561
jobs available