Two rightwing councillors in Rome opposed to the opening of a new mosque which aims to serve Bangladeshis living in the Italian capital, have requested a police inspection of the premises.
Federico Mollicone and Stefano Tozzi, both of the oppostion Alleanza Nazionale party - a member of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition- said they believe the necessary rules and regulations for places of worship have not been respected.
"If the necessary authorisation does not exist, then we will demand (the premises'] closure.
''The opening of a mosque in the Esquilino district practically in front of the Church of San Vito concerns us", the two city councillors said in joint statement released Tuesday.
"While we "respect" every sort of religious freedom, we find it inexplicable that [Rome mayor Walter] Veltroni and the city's Prefect can authorise and accept such a move in a district where cohabitation between Italian and foreigners is very difficult", they added.
"In addition choosing that site in front of one of Christianity's most ancient churches is a serious religious provocation which would never be possible in Islamic nations," Mollicone and Tozzi said.
On Monday, Mustafa Kamal who heads the the Hil Ful Fuzul Social Organization supervising the mosque's construction, said that the opening was planned for 7 September.
Kamal also told Adnkronos International (AKI) that Sheikh Ubeidulhaqq, a prominent Muslim cleric who serves as prayer leader or imam of the Beit al-Mukarram mosque in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, would attend the inauguration ceremony.
Rome, the centre of the Roman Catholic world also hosts Europe's largest Muslim place of worship, the Grand Mosque, which was inaugurated in 1995.
Last Mod: 22 Ağustos 2007, 10:48