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Italy: Muslims demand to build new mosque close to Leaning Tower of Pisa


Campaigners in Italy fight to block building of new mosque close to Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa lit in blue light to commemorate the 70th anniversary
The Leaning Tower of Pisa lit in blue light to commemorate the 70th anniversary.

by Nick Squires, Telegraph, Rome
18 August 2016 • 2:12pm

Campaigners in Tuscany are fighting against a plan to build a mosque a few hundred yards from the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

They are concerned that it is too close to the stone tower, one of Italy’s best known tourist attractions, and fear that it could become a centre for radicalisation of local Muslims, of whom there are around 600.

The building of the mosque in Via del Brennero has been provisionally approved by Pisa’s centre-Left council but campaigners are gathering signatures for a petition calling for a local referendum on the issue.

If granted, it would be the first time an Italian city held a referendum on the building of a new mosque.

There has been trenchant opposition in other cities, including Milan in the north of the country, to the construction of Islamic places of worship.

“According to a recent poll, 57 per cent of Pisans are against the mosque,” said Gianluca Gambini, a local politician with Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-Right Forza Italia party, who is leading the campaign. “It’s not just that it would be built in the wrong location, just 400 metres from the Leaning Tower, but also because people know that mosques are places where there is a risk of radicalisation.”

Opponents are also suspicious of the provenance of the €4.5 million in funding for the project.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa before stabilisation works in 1992, left, and at the end of works in 2010, right, showing a slightly different level of tilt
The Leaning Tower of Pisa before stabilisation works in 1992, left, and at the end of works in 2010, right, showing a slightly different level of tilt.

Magdi Cristiano Allam, a prominent Egyptian-born politician and a convert to Catholicism, said the mosque was being built by the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, which “is ideologically linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, the radical Islamic movement.”

The mayor of Pisa defended the project, saying there was no reason why the mosque should not be built.

Blocking it would be in contravention of freedom of worship, which is enshrined in the Italian constitution, said Marco Filippeschi. The row over the mosque comes just days after authorities ordered the expulsion of a Tunisian man who they suspected of planning an attack on the Leaning Tower.

Bilel Chiahoui, 26, was arrested last week after posting messages on social media praising the extremists behind recent jihadist attacks in Europe and divulging plans to attack the monument.

There are increasing fears of a terrorist attack in Italy of the kind that have hit France and Belgium. Security around potential targets such as the Colosseum in Rome has been increased.

There are increasing fears of a terrorist attack in Italy of the kind that have hit France and Belgium. Security around potential targets such as the Colosseum in Rome has been increased Credit: Claudio Peri/EPA

There is growing concern in Italy that the country could be the target of an Islamist terrorist attack of the kind seen in France and Belgium.

Italian intelligence officials fear that Islamic State fighters who are in retreat from their former stronghold of Sirte, on the Libyan coast, could try to mix with migrants and cross in smugglers’ boats to Italy.

One of Italy’s most recognisable landmarks, the Leaning Tower shares Pisa’s Campo dei Miracoli, or Field of Miracles, with the Duomo and Baptistry.

They were built during Pisa’s heyday, between the 11th and 13th centuries, when the city was one of the Mediterranean’s most formidable maritime powers.  Construction of the eight-storey tower, which tilts dramatically from the vertical, was begun in 1173.

 

10 thoughts on “Italy: Muslims demand to build new mosque close to Leaning Tower of Pisa

  1. Pingback: Italy: Muslims demand to build new mosque close to Leaning Tower of Pisa | zooforyou

  2. Italy’s recession is making them vulnerable to damnable Wahhabi money which of course comes from Saudia. Saudi is buying up land worldwide to promote Wahhabi Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood are backing this venture. If Italy doesn’t act like the rest of Europe she is lost. The Saudis got the Brits back in the black in 2014 with banking deals based on Sharia banking practice – there has to be real action and a coalition of Christian and Jewish nations to take on Wahhabi Islam out of Saudi. Shiia Islam is now recruiting South America to promote Shiia Islam and all must remember the OPEC crisis back in the ’70’s the rise of the Ayatollahs. South America with all her OIL is still not paying back her debts or running successful economies.

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  3. I sure do hope this mosque does NOT get built. There’s a saying I like, and it is, “If your gonna be dumb, you better be strong”. This goes your all those people that would allow this building to happen. They wouldn’t know what they’d be doing. I, myself, would allow any people in my country of any nationality, or any religion. But now there’s an evil religion that is alive, and will consume anything in it’s path, if it’s not put put down. I do Italy will be smart about this, and not have it built there.

    Liked by 1 person

Published under FAIR USE of factual content citing US 17 U.S.C. § 107 fair use protection, Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 and UK Section 30(1) of the 1988 Act.

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