Islam: Italian Islamic Federation born. 250 mosques united

Rome's great mosque's project. New document approuved

22 March, 16:36

    (by Cristiana Missori) (ANSAmed) - ROME, MARCH 22 - A step forward has been taken to unify the Italian Islamic community. It's also a move towards picking up once again the dialogue with the State and work towards signing an agreement document. After a long planning period, the first Italian Islamic Confederation is born, unifying 250 mosques all over the nation and who have chosen to share common values. The Italian Islamic Culture Centre and great mosque of Rome have wanted and worked on this project since 2009 - as also its Secretary General, Abdellah Redouane.

    A congress held in the capital yesterday inaugurated the Confederation, during which the new union established a governing council and elected its president, the Moroccan Fihri Wahid. "It happens to be an historic achievement" the Moroccan ambassador, Hassan Abouyoub told ANSAmed. "it will finally allow the islamic population in Italy to have a new voice. The diplomat added that "the mosques which take part in this Confederation are only of Maliki tradition, who respect a moderate Islam". Staying out of the confederation are the organizations which are part of the Union of communities and Islamic organizations in Italy (Ucoii), often in the spotlight due to its more radical positions.

    Signs of approval also arrived from the other italian religions: The presence at the inaugural congress of the President of the Italian Jewish Union of Communities, Renzo Gattegna and the greetings sent by the President of the European Union of Islamic Ulema, Sheik Mohammed Tughani together with those from the President of the Pontifical Council for inter-religious dialogue of the Vatican, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.

    The organization is born from the union of a series of regional federations of mosques whose work began over a year ago with the local congresses in Milan, Turin, Bologna, Brescia and Perugia.

    The importance of this new organization is based mainly on the values it promotes, values which were inserted into a document, in line with the "Values, citizenship and Integration document" promoted by the Ministry of the Interior in 2007. It goes from the "Promotion and defence of the rights of Muslim women in Italy", to the "Respect of the holiness of life". From the "Rejection of every form of violence, independence and neutrality towards every form of ideology", to the "respect of the principles of moderation, tolerance and respect towards others". The main goal of this document is that of "Allowing the harmonization of the Islamic community with its other components".

    Another important aspect, say the founders of the confederation, is "Creating the best conditions in order to guarantee dignity and freedom of worship, underlining the importance that places of worship reflect the creative genius and the splendour of Italian culture towards the prospect of integration and dialogue with the other religions present in the country". Among the new aspects of this Confederation is the formation of the Imams, quite a complex aspect, up until now never really solved by the Italian Islamic community, contrary to other European Islamic communities, like the French one. Other than President Wahid, coming from the Moroccan community in Bologna, the head council is composed of 16 people, of which young men and women are also part of. (ANSAmed).

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