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New mosque ban in Padua after Paris attacks

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The construction of new mosques has been banned in Padua. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
15:42 CET+01:00
The mayor of Padua has said that no more permits will be granted for the construction of mosques in the northern Italian city in the wake of the shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine, in Paris on Wednesday.

Massimo Bitonci, a Northern League member who last year said crucifixes must be hung on the walls of all schools and offices across the Veneto city, said in a tweet on Friday: “No to new mosques”.

The mayor was quoted in Corriere as saying that unlike in the past, “the council will not grant any more public space for the construction of mosques and Islamic places of worship.”

He added that controls on private establishments used for worship will also be tightened.

In a sign of solidarity with France over the shooting, in which 12 people died, a French flag has been hung outside the town hall.

There has been an anti-Muslim backlash in parts of Europe in the wake of the attacks in Paris.

A Swedish politician was reported to police on Friday after he wrote “the religion of peace shows its face” on his Facebook page, while a survey in Germany showed that a growing majority of Germans felt threatened by Islam.

In Austria, a mosque in a building used by the Vienna Islamic Centre was defaced by Islamophobic graffiti on Thursday.

Muslims make up Italy’s second-largest religious group but their faith still lacks official national recognition.

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The country is home to 1.7 million Muslims and the country has over 700 mosques.

In January last year, a court in Lombardy ruled that urban planners must give space to non-Catholic groups, sparking a backlash from the Northern League, which branded the decision as “disgraceful judgement”. 

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