Italy: Muslim prayer area risks closure at northern tennis club

Muslims in the north-eastern city of Treviso are at risk of losing a prayer area rented to them by the owner of a tennis club. Bepi Zambon, a former tennis champion and owner of the Tennis Club Zambon, allocated two cours for local Muslims to hold prayers – one court for men and women, respectively; it is currently the only area in Treviso where Muslims have room to pray together. However, during the Eid al-Adha celebration in December, the anti-immigrant Northern League sent traffic wardens to monitor the comings and goings of worshipers. Giancarlo Gentillini, the deputy mayor of Treviso said I am studying the traffic wardens’ reports, and if any offense has been committed, I will close the whole thing down. Three years ago, Gentillini invoked a 1975 public order law that ordered police to arrest women wearing the burka in Treviso.