4th October 2000
To: Dr. Pagliarini
FROM: G. Eid
OBJECT: Mosque of Lodi
I don’t know all the details of the issue learned from the newspapers; on the basis of what has been read and knowing the environment of the other party I offer you my brief considerations, to give you a contribution to the understanding of the Italian Islamic reality.
Free land from a public body:
- On what basis is the mosque free?
- It will create a precedent.
- It creates discrimination against other faiths, non-Muslims.
- Italian citizens do not receive anything free from the state
- They can erect their place of worship like any other Italian institution with respect to the Regulatory Plan. There is no need for extraordinary rules. In Italy there is this freedom of worship that does not exist for non-Muslims, in countries where Islamic law is in force.
- They are not poor: the UCOI union receives billions of funds from Arab states, primarily Saudi Arabia, to support its aims. That’s what their newspapers say.
- To talk about reciprocity does not apply in this case because they are Italian citizens: there is no Islamic counterpart.
- Islam: there is no univocal Islam but there are various ways of applying Islamic law: the way in which it is implemented in Sudan is not the same as its implementation in Tunis, but the construction of churches in Egypt, for example, is still regulated by an edict of the caliph Omar of the year 636.
In a nutshell, Italian law must be applied without partisan charity.
And then, if politicians decide to donate the land free of charge, then consider the impact it will have on the neighbourhood: there is a risk that it will turn into a souk, and I strongly recommend that the pact of donation provides for the representation of the municipality in the council of the Islamic cultural institution that will be established: Councillors for Culture and that of sport. They can play a role in helping to formulate activities that act as a glue for integration, bringing new immigrants closer to the values of the Italian society.
I suggest you to read in my book Islam: history, culture and faith the part concerning the role of the mosque, in addition to the aspect of prayer there are aspects of teaching, social, cultural, indoctrination and rules on customs etc. That affects not a little the attitude of the individual but also the feeling of being part of Italian society?
Islamic centres in Italy can certainly play a positive role in the integration of new immigration. But the opposite could also happen. It’s worth checking how the centres already present in Milan work.
And one has to ask, on the basis of the origin of the promoters, in addition to the ritual prayer: what integration do they propose? Are the customs and traditions, the social relations that apply in the center and the teaching going to help the process of integration or not? The answer to the following questions can help to understand the orientation of the centre and if all this brings a benefit to the city.
ISLAMIC CENTRES: what teaching do they offer?
Will they forbid:
- A Muslim woman from marrying a Christian?
- A Muslim from changing their religion?
- A Christian from testifying in trial against an Muslim?
- A child from choosing the religion of their Christian mother?
- A Shiite Muslim from marrying a Christian woman?
- To recognize that God, one and triune, and Allah are identical?
- A Christian from inheriting the patrimony of a Muslim?
Will they allow women to:
- Testify against a man?
- Inherit an equal part of man?
- Divorce from a man?
- Marry a man they chose?
- Refuse polygamy?
The following are requests made and implemented in Italy under the pretext of religion but that exist only in some areas of Arab countries:
- Can a woman greet a man with her hand without permission?
- Can the woman play sports, and go to the swimming pool with men?
- Can a woman dress as she wishes?
- Can the woman travel freely?
- Can the woman take a photo of her card with her veil?
- That her kids do not study music at school?
- That the student interrupts the lesson and goes away to pray at scheduled times?
- male circumcision, and female genital mutilation is imposed
- – separate compartments in public transport
What kind of teaching is provided?
- to study Christianity through the gospel and the Christian sources?
- that the Koran can be read in its context?
- That the woman rejects genital mutilation?
- that an Muslim is subordinate to a Christian boss or badly tolerates subordination?
- that Christian can access paradise?
- that a C. teaches Arabic literature at school M.?
- that a church be built near a mosque?
- that the sound of bells can reach a place of worship M.?
It would be appropriate in the lessons on Islam to beat the nail of integration and ways of coexistence that we prepare a political ethical pact to which everyone must submit. Martini said it 10 years ago: “If religious minorities have among us those freedoms and rights that are incumbent on all citizens, one cannot instead appeal, for example, to the principles of Islamic law to demand specific legal spaces and prerogatives”.
Free web translation from the original in Italian
The published articles intend to provide the tools for a social inclusion of the migratory flow, shed light on human rights and the condition of life of Christians in the Islamic world from which the author come from. Knowledge of the other, of cultural and religious differences are primary ingredients to create peace in the hearts of men everywhere, a prerequisite for a peaceful coexistence and convinced citizenship in the territory.