March 28, 2014
“I live in a basement because I am not a good Muslim,” Miadi is 33 years old and since November has lived in a basement.
Miadi travelled to Italy in search of fortune, but for Miadi, a 33 year old Algerian, fate turned its back on him shortly after his arrival. Suffice it to say that the young man has been forced to live in a small cellar, near the outskirts of Milan. To be precise, since last November, when the young man was literally kicked out of an apartment in the Aurora area where he lived with some friends, the basis of the argument was purely religious.
Miadi, in fact, is not a Muslim and does not follow the Islamic faith, a major issue for the people with whom he lived for a short time. “One day they caught me eating ham and I was forced to pack up” says the 33-year old. “For a few days I slept on the side of a road, then I met a friend who gave me a hand. I found this cellar where at least I can rest. Definitely better than being under a bridge in the cold.”
But even in a basement hygienic conditions are not exactly the best. In the small space Miadi has placed a mattress and some blankets. “I manage as I can,” says the Algerian. To complicate the situation the young man also does not have a job and has no family in the area to garner support. “I worked for a short time in the market. But with the little money I made I could barely eat.”
Torino Today: http://www.torinotoday.it/cronaca/miadi-casa-cantina-islam-barriera-milano.html
March 25, 2014
It is an uphill struggle for the Muslim community to build a place of worship in Milan, many hoped it would ready for Expo 2015, instead the building has been delayed. According to Paolo Branca, advocate and Associate Professor at the Catholic University of Milan, the real problem, rather than the opposition of some in the Conservative Party, is the divisions within the Muslim community, split into two major areas of thought: Caim (Coordination of Islamic associations in Milan) which has never made a secret of being close to the Muslim Brotherhood and Coreis (Islamic Religious Community), which is more secular and supported by the Diocese. “Many have advanced their concerns, not the mosque, but on its future management in the case that it incorporates close ties to the Brotherhood” explains Branca “ This could complicate the creation of a place open to all Muslims as well as Milanese.”
Il Fatto Quotidiano: http://tv.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2014/03/25/moschea-di-milano-branca-i-problemi-sono-le-divisioni-nella-comunita-islamica/271559/
March 25, 2014
BARI – “Italy has the credentials to become a leading country in exports to the Islamic world, and we want to offer to institutions and businesses all the support to make this happen.” Says Sharif Lorenzini, president of the Italian section of the International Halal Authority (HIA), the only recognized body for the certification of Halal products.
A few days before the World Halal Food Council meeting, which will convene for the first time in Italy, all the representatives of the Halal world and representatives of 57 Islamic states of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in Rome from March 27 to 29 of next year. Lorenzini supports the Italian food economy in Islamic markets. “We’re talking about a three trillion euro a year industry, an increase of about 15% each year due to the two billion Muslims in the world.”
To open the doors to this potential, Italian companies of all kinds, from food to cosmetics and clothing, must produce according to standards laid down by Shariah, i.e. Islamic law that determines what is ‘Halal,’ then the product is admitted for Muslim consumption. “In fact” says Lorenzini “it is a return to simplicity in production, and usually at no additional cost to the company. And Italian companies are subsidized in this process since the quality standards, especially in food and cosmetics, are already very high.” The 220 Italian companies that have become certified in three years know the profit margins very well, seeing their revenues climb.
“Of these companies – said Lorenzini – 150 have begun to get certified because they had an order from the Islamic world. Several of these businesses were about to close, but now they cannot cope with all the requests for their products. According to the estimates of Lorenzini, Italian exports in Islamic markets, mainly Malaysia, Indonesia and South -East Asia, but also America and Europe where there are many Muslims, amounted to 15-16 billion euro.” But it is especially important for companies because of “the great increase of Muslims in Italy.”
March 6, 2014
“We learned with great concern of the statements recorded by the press said by the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, on the occasion of his visit to Albania: “Italy supports the candidacy of Albania for entry into Europe as this would also prevent a drift from European values in every sense including the possible contamination of the ‘Islamic virus.'” The accusation came from Davide Piccardo, coordinator of Caim (Coordination of Islamic Associations of Milan), in a statement.
“We hope” Piccardo continues “that the President of the Republic has been misinterpreted and in this case we ask that he immediately deny this. If true, this would be an unacceptable statement, which constitutes an extremely serious offense to the sensitivity of our community, especially by invoking the term virus which brings us back to tragic events in European history, therefore, we consider it necessary and urgent that the president respond, to preserve the integrity of the Presidency of the Republic. ”
Libero Quotidiano: http://www.liberoquotidiano.it/news/politica/11563102/Islam–Piccardo–Caim-.html
March 7, 2014
Yesterday morning at a local High School, four classes for a total of about 100 children attended the very first viewing of the Documentary film “Beyond Islam’s Doors,” directed by Fabrizio Fantini. Daniela Asquini of the video library of Emilia Romagna and Marisa Iannucci of the Islamic Center of Ravenna were also in attendance. The community has already supported intercultural and interreligious dialogue with a visiting exhibition held in the local museum last December in which Christianity, Judaism and Islam were explained in an educationally effective way for students.
The Documentary Film that was screened will be officially unveiled in Bologna in April 5 of next year. The film documents Islam in Romagna specifically in Ravenna and Bologna showing all the prejudices, opinions and experiences of the Muslim community.
The film follows an Islamic community. Also documented is the construction of the Mosque of Ravenna with all the strengths and weaknesses of the work. For example, women are fairly “marginalized” in the prayer area on a mezzanine far from the male community.
The film states that the Italian Constitution, on which you swear when you get citizenship, “is sacred.” Many of the respondents of the Islamic faith profess a faith in democracy and also belong to trade unions and associations for peace. What emerges is the idea that the principles of equality, coexistence, peace, democracy, are really sacred to believers and non- believers, and certainly represents an Islam that is compatible with the Italian population. The High school where the viewing took place is one of the top players in the cultural scene and attentive to integrate students from today with others from many countries around the world.
Ravenna Notizie: http://ravennanotizie.it/main/index.php?id_pag=23&id_blog_post=73261
Teaser of the film (English): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqVNwd6Mm2c
February 28, 2014
The pope’s idea: to be accompanied by a representative from each monotheistic religion during his visit in May to the Holy Land
Pope Francis wants to be accompanied by a leading Jewish person and one Muslim on his next trip to the Holy Land. He confirmed this during a meeting with a delegation of interfaith Argentines whom he received at his residence yesterday afternoon. However, the Pope’s hope could be difficult since his visit to the Middle East will coincide with the start of week for Jews and more importantly the day of rest.
“He really has a lot of expectations for this trip: it will be a short trip and he has announced that he will be accompanied by a Jewish person and a Muslim,” the priest Guillermo Marcó told Vatican Insider, one of the presidents of the Institute for Interreligious Dialogue in Argentina.
The idea, however, may pose practical difficulties. Of course, there are alternatives but, according to the announcement, the Pope’s trip will begin Saturday, May 24, the day when Jews reduce their activities in accordance with the precepts of their faith.
One of the rabbis closer to Pope Francis is Abraham Skorka who resides in Buenos Aires. Both have said they want to complete a journey to the Holy Land. But, in his last visit to Rome, Skorka was also very cautious about saying he would accompany the Pope, declaring “there is still nothing definitive.” The only way in which he could participate in the trip with the Pope is if he arrived earlier.
The Pope will stay in the Middle East for three days, visiting Jordan, Israel and Palestine. The Pope walks the path of Paul VI, the first pope in history to return to the land of Jesus (fifty years ago: between 4 and 6 January 1964). After Paul VI, John Paul II (20 to 26 March 2000) and Benedict XVI (8 to 15 May 2009) would also visit the Holy Land.
Vatican Insider, La Stampa: http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/nel-mondo/dettaglio-articolo/articolo/medio-oriente-middle-east-medio-oriente-32401/
February 23, 2014
The documentary “I sought to find Maradona [the famed soccer player] but I found Allah,” by Lorenzo Cioffi and Ernesto Pagano, presents two Neapolitan youth who converted to Islam, Ciro and Francesco. The protagonists discuss the reasons for conversion and anecdotes related to their choice. The documentary also includes Augustine Gentile and Massimo Cozzolino, teacher of Islamic religion and head of the Mosque in Piazza Mercato in Naples, respectively. Gentile and Cozzolino also discuss the case of the two boys within the broader phenomenon of a “return” to Islam in the city. The documentary broadcast on Rai News2.
Redattore Sociale: http://www.redattoresociale.it/Multimedia/Video/Dettaglio/454841/Islam-italiano-Ciro-cercava-Maradona-e-ha-trovato-Allah
February 22, 2014
No Islamic cultural center and mosque is complete without a minaret muezzin calling to worshippers to prayer. A Mosque would take many Venetian Muslims into the sunlight, out of garages and stairs that have been their places of worship for all this time. A cultural center could be in the future for the City of Venice. An unnamed Saudi prince has agreed to fund the center, according to the local newspapers. Now begins a battle for a place of worship.
Venezia Today: http://www.veneziatoday.it/cronaca/moschea-centro-culturale-islam-venezia-principe-saudita.html
February 19, 2014
Souad Sbai, a former MP and president of the Community Association of Moroccan Women in Italy (ACMID Woman) expressed her outrage at the choice of Cat Steven to open the famed Sanremo music festival. In a note Sbai said “I’m sorry I have to note once again the inability of state television to act as a public service. I find it shameful that the Parliamentary Oversight Committee at Rai television did not intervene to avoid hosting a controversial celebrity for the opening of the Sanremo music festival” Sbai is against the British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, because in the “in the 1970s converted to Islam and now goes by the name Yusuf Islam” and “ he continues to be on the blacklist for traveling to the United States.” Sbai then points out that “in 2006, here in Italy, the pop star was the subject of a parliamentary panel led by the Minister of the Interior, Giuliano Amato, for an interview in which he spoke about Islamic propaganda.”
February 15, 2014
Yusuf Islam was announced as the international guest for Sanremo (the large music competition held in Italy every year). In a press conference, held last Monday Fabio Fazio announced that Yusuf Islam, who for all connoisseurs of his music will always be Cat Stevens, will be the international guest on the first evening of the festival, scheduled for February 18.
The British singer-songwriter became popular in the London of the sixties beginning his career in the pop genre. Since completely changing his lifestyle, Yusuf Islam still looks himself by continuing to have an unshaven look while shouldering an acoustic guitar. In his latest album, Islam echoes the Mediterranean in his tracks with especially intimate lyrics focusing on the cultural and social scene in Britain, increasingly divided by economic differences.
Musical News: http://www.musicalnews.com/articolo.php?codice=27016&sz=6