Italy creating 'Italian Islam' by making new religion in line with 'Christian tradition'

The interior minister announced the creation of an official 'Council of Relations with Italian Islam'

Lizzie Dearden
Friday 22 January 2016 16:21
Comments
The move comes after the interior minister controversially vowed to crack down on terrorism by closing unauthorised mosques
The move comes after the interior minister controversially vowed to crack down on terrorism by closing unauthorised mosques

Italy is setting up a council of “Italian Islam” that claims to be bringing the religion into compliance with the country’s “Christian and humanist tradition”.

The reason for the controversial creation was not made clear in a statement by interior minister Angelino Alfano, although he did say provinces “concerned with immigration” would be involved.

Announcing the move on Tuesday, he said the Council of Relations with Italian Islam would be an advisory body aiming at furthering integration.

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Italian Islam would be 'law abiding'

“The Council will be responsible for providing opinions and making proposals on issues concerning the integration of people of Islamic culture and religion in Italy,” Mr Alfano said.

“Respect and co-operation between cultural and religious identities in Italy must constitute the basis for a dialogue that enriches democracy, promoting the aims of peace, social cohesion and unity, and that fosters a community of those who…intend to contribute to the peaceful development and prosperity of our country, in full compliance with our laws and our Christian and humanist tradition.”

The Interior Ministry said Islamic leaders, experts and professors would be working towards “the formation of an Italian Islam”.

2,000 boat migrants brought to Sicily

A spokesperson said the religion would be “law-abiding and compatible with Italian regulations”, without saying what rules, if any, Muslims were currently believed to be breaking in the country.

It comes as migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East continue to arrive on Italy’s shores, mainly on the southern island of Sicily.

More than 320,000 asylum seekers have arrived in the past two years, mainly on rescue ships deployed by a Europe-wide mission in response to successive boat disasters that have killed thousands of men, women and children.

Mr Alfano said local authorities and immigration councils would be consulted alongside Muslim leaders to improve social inclusion, taking into account the principles of the Constitutions and laws of the Republic”.

The minister, head of the New Centre Right (NCD) party, sparked outrage in the wake of the Paris attacks by saying the government would crack down on unauthorised mosques in the fight against “terrorism”.

The Local reported that they are often set up because Italian law makes it “exceptionally difficult” to create new places of worship in Italy, which has only four official mosques.

Mr Alfano has previously drawn controversy over his appearance at a Mafia-linked wedding and statements on issues including same-sex marriage.

Earlier this month, he called for couples who use have children using surrogates to be treated like sex offenders and jailed.

He called surrogacy “the most vile, illegal trade that man has invented” and said he would campaign for it to become a “universal crime”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in