“We are still waiting for Pisapia to speak about the participation of the party in celebrations for the end of Ramadan; we want a convincing explanation as to why the City has participated in the celebration despite the fact that the guest of honor was the Imam Al Bustanji, who is known for his interview on Hamas satellite TV in which he revealed that he met a young 10 year old in Gaza and believes they should know about jihad and martyrdom” said Riccardo De Corato (from the Brothers of Italy), Vice-Chairman of the City Council of Milan.
Clarifications from Pisapia are not only demanded by the opposition, but also by the Jewish community which has spoken up about the error of the municipality. “Even the mayor, Gabbai, a member of the majority, should give an explanation. Yet all is silent, not a word which is shameful” explained De Corato.
“This comes after the disgrace of a visa denied to Limonta and his entire family which Pisapia said he would clear but then did nothing. Earlier still, there was the U.S. consulate’s designation of Milan as a city that is unsafe and dangerous and now, in addition to all of these missteps, the City celebrates with an imam who is a friend of Hamas. This is the image that Milan is giving abroad: a city collaborating with extremists.”
August 12, 2013
“Ridiculous, these are complaints that do not stand up” explained the spokesman of the Jewish Community in Milan, Daniele Nahum, in response to the threat of lawsuit from Davide Piccardo. Piccardo, the coordinator of the Islamic association of Milan, in a statement, said today that the association would proceed with a defamation and incitement to racial and religious hatred lawsuit. The lawsuit is in response to comments about Imam Al Bustanj, citing him as an extremist who supports the martyrdom of children.
The controversy began with the end of Ramadan a few days ago. The Jewish community explicitly blamed the Municipal government because they participated in a prayer for the end of Ramadan led by Imam Al Bustanj. The note from the Jewish community coordinator explains the community will not be undervalued.
In the end this debate focuses on those phrases that represent the historical opposition between the two faiths on the issues of the state of Israel and the occupation of the Palestinian land. “We do not intend to take lessons from those who support a state that constantly violates international legality and basic human rights; continuing to conduct a brutal military occupation, which is both racist and criminal” Picard wrote.
August 8, 2013
Several thousand Muslims gathered in the Arena Civica in Milan, from 8 in the morning to pray during Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan. The rain did not deter the faithful and they said the traditional prayer of the day. Ramadan is a time of fasting and a time to support the purification of the soul and body. Imam Shaykh Riyadh Bustanji lead the celebration. Women prayed under a gazebo, decorated for the occasion. The City of Milan was represented by the Councillor for Culture, Francesco Cappelli.
August 5, 2013
The Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Scola said “during this time of prayer and fasting we hope to instill confidence and courage in promoting a dialogue and overall cooperation based on our mutual love of God and neighbor.” The message was sent to the Milanese Muslims community and its leaders to acknowledge the end of Ramadan. In the letter, Scola points out that Christians and Muslims share “similar challenges and similar responsibilities.”
Based on these challenges and responsibilities, the archbishop believes that the most significant requirement is “including notions of mutual respect without ignoring the individuality of each religion.” The message, sent in both Italian and Arabic, will be delivered by the representatives of the diocese to various places in the diocese’s territory where Muslims celebrate the Eid aliftir, during the morning of August 8.
Chocolates dedicated to Muslims: Giorgio Armani launches an Armani/ Dolci chocolate. The pralines – which will be called Ramadan – will be free of alcohol derivatives. The shell is milk chocolate and will be filled with fresh fruit and honey. The chocolates will be decorated with emerald green sugar designs.
The new product has arrived in stores in Kuwait City, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha and Malaysia, but will also be in stores in Milan and New York. Ramadan (the month of fasting during the day) in 2013 falls from July 9 to August 8. The special chocolate will be on sale until the end of August.
June 9, 2013
Monday and Tuesday June 17 and 18 Oasis led by Cardinal Angelo Scola will be a meeting in Milan on the theme: “On the precipice: Christians and Muslims between Secularism and Ideology.” The meeting will take place on the University of Milan campus and is open to everyone. To attend email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By John Giacalone
May 20, 2013
Prayer at Palasharp 250×149 complex might make it a mosque? Funding is ready from Qatar and others. Qatar Holding has officially announced the purchase of 40% of Porta Nuova, the real estate development plan of more than two billion euro currently under construction in the city’s center, the complex is about 290 thousand square meters. The remaining 60% will continue to be held by the current sponsor, the Texan group Hines. The Qatari holding company is, in fact, known to have holdings ranging from Porsche to Harrods, from Credit Suisse to Paris Saint Germain and has recently supported some of the most famous hotels .
Will the PalaSharp soon be turned into a mosque? There are also rumors of possible funding by private individuals from Qatar and Kuwait, supporting the transformation of the Palasharp Lampugnano, which could become the first large mosque in Milan. The PalaSharp has been used as a place of prayer for many Muslims on Fridays, many of them from the Islamic Cultural Institute in Viale Jenner that could not accommodate all the faithful so many were forced to pray on sidewalks adjacent to the Islamic center, thus creating problems for the circulation and commercial activities.
Milan has no mosque. The fact that Milan still has no large mosque despite the large presence of Muslims in Lombardy (340,000 according to some estimates, but probably more) is inexplicable. It is permissible to ask the question: given that funding most often goes hand in hand with political and ideological conditioning, is it healthy for Italian Muslims to take advantage of funds from abroad, particularly from countries where there is an interpretation of Islam that is ideologically closer to positions that would be out of place in Italy?
The Italian Islamic communities, as such, should be free from external influences in order to foster an Islam that can thrive in harmony within the Italian socio-cultural context, thus facilitating the integration process?
“The situation of Christians in some Muslim countries is in need of major improvements to allow more freedoms ‘and chances’ similar to those that Muslims enjoy in Christian countries” said Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who is now visiting Milan during the seventeenth anniversary of the Edict of Constantine. In the keynote address delivered with the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, both focused on the need “to aim for peace between Islam and Christianity,” abandoning the agonizing wounds of the past.
Milan- “It should have been a day of celebration but it has turned in yet another act of discrimination and racism against Muslims.” The ANSA news agency reported the accusations of Sharif Lorenzini, Bari, director of the Italian Islamic Community, with respect to a water park “Acquaneva of Inzago,” in the province of Milan.
At the amusement park which had been sponsored by the Halal consumer association that certifies the quality of products according to the dictates of the Islamic religion. According to Lorenzini the owners of a water park would have rented the waterpark to the group, but then, suddenly, they changed their minds, leaving the organizers in trouble and with a deep sense of disappointment and over 200 participants from all parts of Italy attending.
“We had made arrangements to purchase the structure” explained the President of Halal, Basma Farrag both on price, date, and also the use of the structure. But from one day to the next the owner began to take an arrogant attitude towards us: constantly changing the cards on the table and then on the phone greatly increased the price.” When the group accepted the new terms, the owner told them that they would not have been able to use the slides.
Farrag adds, “we have to cancel the event and there is a strong feeling of disappointment sweeping across the Italian Islamic Community. A feeling that is turning into desire for revenge: we feel the racism and discrimination. And with us there are also many non-Muslim women who were to participate in the event.” Now, the association is considering whether to take legal action against the water park.
The President of the Lombardy region, Roberto Maroni, is now “open” to the possibility of having a Mosque in Milan. One of the main critics of a construction of a mosque, Maroni now states that he is open to a Mosque, as long as a mosque “respects Italian culture, our traditions and history.” Roberto Maroni made these statements as part of a larger discussion celebrating the edict of Constantine in 313 and in anticipation of the arrival of the Patriarch in Italy on May 14. The Cardinal Angelo Scoula and the Mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, also confirmed their support of the Mosque.