The Islamic Cultural Center “Marwa El-Sherbini” in Dresden has been targeted by anti-Muhammad graffitis. According to a chronic, which has been collected by press releases of the police and media reports, Dresden has witnessed a growing numbers of violent xenophobic attacks against refugees, immigrants and Islamic facilities. The right-wing anti-Islam movement, patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of Europe (PEGIDA) has initiated its marches in Dresden. Several branches have adopted the principal of PEGIDA in further German cities but were less successful in mobilizing adherents.
The Islamic Cultural Center Marwa El-Sherbini has been named after the Muslim woman with Egyptian origins. In 2009, the pregnant woman was stabbed to death by the accused at court process. His motive was recorded to be xenophobic.
The residents of Borgo Allegri in Florence are exhausted, as they protest against the deterioration of their neighborhood in an area surrounding the city’s Islamic Cultural Center. The place of prayer has existed since 2007 and is located in the back of an old warehouse, not very spacious and extremely close to surrounding homes. The Muslim community, over the years, has increased in number (a community that is 30,000 strong in Florence) and this increase is paralleled by a worsening situation in the area: fights, late night noise and loitering on the sidewalk and in front of the place of prayer and other illegal activities.
The most difficult time was during Ramadan (a month of prayer, during which the Islamic center was stormed) and every Friday during the rest of the year: during these times residents stay in, and don’t have company over to their homes, staying locked in their homes. “We have signatures and we have asked for help from over 100 organizations and no one will help” explained Laura Battistoni, a resident of the area, who yesterday sent an email to Mayor Matteo Renzi, explaining the difficulties in the area around the Islamic Center.
“The crux of the matter is that there is no more law in this space: everyone does what they want. The faithful who come to the Islamic Center pray in terrible conditions, stretching out on rugs in the middle of the street, eating on the sidewalks. They pray at 4 am, often using a megaphone, making it impossible for anyone to sleep.”
The problem is not only from the residents in the area. “We are the cradle of the renaissance” said one resident “but we have a bad image abroad. There are tourists who have complained, and discourage others from renting a home in the area.” The faithful are also sometimes the most educated of the Italians, most of them are good people, but tourists do not expect this commotion on the street. Women and the elderly are afraid. I think being able to sleep at night and come and go freely from home, at any time , is within the rights of a citizen,” says the resident.
“The Muslims also have a right to pray, but it is only right to that they have a safe and dignified place to do so.” In this regard, that the Imam of Florence Elzir Izzedin asks for a mosque in the city. This has raised many issues like whether to allow it and where to put it. A number of places have been identified including southern Florence in viale Nenni.
The commissioner capitulates and shows social support, Rita Cutini, visited the Grand Mosque of Rome. Received by the Secretary General of the Islamic Cultural Center of the Great Mosque of Rome, Abdellah Redouane, Cutini attended the evening breaking of the fast during the month of Ramadan, and ate, as tradition stipulates, fresh dates and a bit of water.
“I accepted the invitation to come on a visit to the Grand Mosque,” commented Councillor Rita Cutini at a time “important in the religious lives of many Roman citizens, because I consider it a dutiful tribute by my department, who has the expertise of integration, and to express sincere esteem and respect for this important and vital component of our city. “
“Stop Islam” and “Stop the Invasion” were the sentences painted at the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque in Armilla, Granada.
The fact has been described as serious by the Islamic Commission of Spain. Mounir Benjelloun, President of the Islamic Commission of Spain has issued a statement protesting against this event and calling the graffiti ‘xenophobic’ and ‘racist’. In the same statement, he expressed his conviction that this fact will not affect “in any way” the good coexistence among the Spanish Muslim citizens of Armilla and the Andalusian society “.
“In Palermo it is important support the mosaic of Arab and Islamic presence” said the mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando, at the conference “Culture and Islamic Civilization in Italy” organized by the Muslim World League at the Mosque of Rome. The mayor also reiterated the willingness of Palermo to support the construction of a mosque and an Islamic cultural center.
During the conference, Muhammad Saleh Al Ghamdi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Italy and chairman of the board of directors of the Islamic Cultural Center of Italy, said that “Italy is a beautiful country, a friendly country with which we have excellent relations. In October we will celebrate the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and Saudi Arabia, ‘confirming’ the depth of the ties not only between political Arab and Islamic countries and Italy but also a relationship characterized by mutual dialogue and mutual understanding.”
Speaking of Sicily, the Saudi ambassador also said that “the seeds of love towards Palermo and Sicily sprout in my heart.” The event was also attended by, among others, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman in Italy, Fareed Alkhotani, the World Muslim League and Izzedin Elzir, President of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy.
At the end of the speeches, Mayor Orlando received the gift of a copy of the Koran, “which” he said “will be housed in the future Islamic Cultural Center of Palermo.”
On Friday sermon at the Islamic Cultural Center of Valencia,
the Toulouse killings in France were condemned and it was highlighted that this violent behavior had nothing to do with Islam. Just four days later, the Muslim communities of Valencia were painfully surprised by the arrest of the Al Qaeda Librarian, a Saudi ‘jihad’ accused of capturing terrorists through the Internet and encouraging the implementation of terrorist acts.
With “fear” that this will result in “an increase in Islamophobia” in the Region Valencia, the president of the Islamic Cultural Center of Valencia, Abdelaziz Hammaoui, launched yesterday “an appeal for calm to the whole society”, and “not generalize” these isolated attitudes because “that can do great damage not only to the Muslim community, but to the Spanish society as a whole, and can break down the work of awareness and approach we have been doing in recent years. Do not fall in what these people precisely want to plant: discord and hate. “
In a series of articles, Aftenposten (an independent conservative publication) has debated moral and social control exercised by Muslim men in the neighborhood of Grønland in Norway’s capitol, Oslo.
Described as Oslo’s multicultural and “hip” neighborhood, but also where you find most “minarets and khatbuls”, Grønland is said to have developed into a “Muslim neighborhood”. Muslim women in western clothes are reported to be harassed by Muslim men on the street and told to cover up. Last autumn two gay men walking through Grønland holding hands were attacked, and non-Muslim women say they hesitate to visit the cafe’s and restaurants in Grønland.
Imam and chairman of Norway’s Islamic Council (Islamisk Råd), Senaid Koblicia, acknowledges the problem and encourages mosque representatives to acknowledge and work on the problem. “Social control is to be left to the police, and God alone knows who’s a good Muslim or not”, he says.
Najaham Farhan, spokesperson for Islamic Cultural Center in Grønland, responds to Imam Koblicia’s request and says that it’s a question of common manners and that people may become more attentive to the problem if it is to be addressed in the mosques.
Columnist Sara Azmeh Rasmussen, finally, calls for a more nuanced debate and accuses Norwegian media of focusing on Muslim stereotypes and conservative Muslims. Grønland’s Muslim population is just as diverse as any, she says, but the media focuses on women in burqas more than they do on secular Muslim women in western clothes.
The Islamic Cultural Center in Rome, also called the Rome Grand Mosque, faces desertion and abandonment although it is the biggest mosque in Italy. Despite the fact that the mosque’s large prayer hall can accommodate some 5,000 people, it remains empty except for Friday prayers and Eid celebrations. The keeper of the mosque, Ya ‘quob says that the reason for this lies in the mosque’s own administration. The Islamic Cultural Center in Rome is backed by Muslim and Arab countries which established it. “The grand mosque’s administration has forced worshippers to seek other places even if they are more distant or smaller in size,” says Samir El-Khaledi, imam of the Al-Huda mosque in Rome.
Several organizers are planning a symposium on May 9th in Valencia, to discuss the importance of the media, and how Islam is represented by various communication services. The primary goal o the meeting is to establish a roadmap or manual for journalists and journalism students that contains agreed upon consensus about issues related to the Islamic world. In addition, the aim is to promote a pluralistic and open debate about how to cover media information concerning the Islamic world, and to promote a two-way discussion to try to define some concepts that are presented in the media on a frequent basis, to avoid misinterpretation or biased views. The organizers of the symposium include the Islamic Cultural Center of Valencia and the Higher Council of the Valencia Region, and it is sponsored by the University of Valencia.