Muslims protest against mosque closure in Sassuolo

Muslims in the city of Sassuolo in northern Italy protested against what they claim is the town council’s refusal to allow the local Muslim community to build a mosque. “Tomorrow we will perform Friday prayers in the street, to protest against the municipality for not allowing us to have a mosque,” said spokesperson Hisham Abu Marwan. The local Muslim association has been using a prayer hall for services for over 10 years. It had been recently shut down, and a new location was to be rented for prayers, but authorities deemed it unsuitable saying that the location of the new space in an industrial area was not an appropriate place to carry out religious activities. The city council offered the group a temporary space to pray several kilometers away, but Abu Marwan said that the location was too far away for most of the community, in addition to seeking a permanent solution instead of a temporary one.