Italy’s Northern League seeks to block new mosques

Italy’s Northern League has proposed new legislation which would halt the construction of new mosques. The bill would require regional approval for the building of mosques and require that a local referendum be held concerning minarets and loudspeakers calling the faithful to prayer. The Financial Times reports that the chances of this being approved are slim, as the legislation clashes with several constitutional rights. The legislation is set to be sent to Italian parliament next week.

Parties woo Muslim candidates for April polls

For the first time in the country’s history, almost all party lists in Italy’s mid-April elections will contain at least one Muslim candidate. Among the hopefuls include Souad Sbai, the Moroccan Women’s Association president, also a member of Italy’s Consulta Islamica, a government’ appointed consultative body for Muslims in Italy. Italy’s Northern League has its eyes set on Moroccan-born Zakkaria Najibi, a local councillor in Padua, and strong opponent of illegal immigration. The centre-left Democrat party is expected to court sociology lecturer and columnist Khaled Fouad Allam, while the Values party is urging for support of Islamic studies lecturer Ahmad Vincenzo as a candidate for the Senate.