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
June 5, 2013
The Islamic federation of Campania in collaboration with Avis, on June 4, will collaborate for a blood donation day near the headquarters of the Cultural Association Zayd Ibn Thabit in Naples, in via Corradino. This initiative, in conjunction with Charter of Values of the Italian Islamic Confederation are meant to pursue harmony between the Muslim community and all members of the Italian society.
The city of Naples is hosting a film festival featuring short films, documentaries, cartoons, and women’s films from Morocco. The festival is also organizing debates, book readings, talks, musical events, food sampling, and other exhibitions related to Morocco and Moroccan culture. Four main sections divide the festival – women’s cinema, documentaries, fiction, and Berber cinema. The documentary section is being dedicated to Izza Genini, Morocco’s first female documentary-maker.
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Italy is dealing with a rise in immigrant anger this week after protests erupted against the violent attacks directed at African immigrants. At Caserta, located in the north of Naples, riots sparked after the Naples mafia was linked to the gang-related killing of six Africans – three Ghanians, two Liberians, and a Togolese. In Milan, thousands took to the streets to condemn the beating to death of a young man from Burkina Faso, who was caught stealing biscuits from a local bar. While the events are unrelated, they show an increasing divide between African descended Italian citizens and migrants, and other Italians, with underlying tensions of skin color and racist concerns. The cabinet of Silvio Berlusconi approved 500 troops to monitor Caserta, and remain in the area for thee months to safeguard the area.
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Islamic leaders are welcoming a proposal to include an international forum on promoting debate in the Muslim world at the Venice Biennale arts festival. Former president of the Venice Biennale, dedicated the theme of the 1977 Venice Biennale to dissent – in relation to Communist countries of the eastern bloc. He called for this contemporary similar proposal, concerning Islamic dissent. Ahmad Vincenzo, president of the Association of Muslim Intellectuals and lecturer at the Federico II University in Naples, stated I imagine that it would speak about dissent with regard to the regimes of many countries that have an Islamic majority. Not dissent towards Islam as a religion. Karima Moual, president of the Association of Young Moroccans also supported the proposal, as an initiative [that] would benefit if it made people from the Arab Islamic world participate […] I believe that the real problem in our countries is the absence of debate.
Members of the Islamic community in Naples and surrounding areas are planning to protest newly proposed security measures. The package could make illegal immigration a crime and replace police officers with security personnel to patrol the streets – including soldiers. “The Islamic community of Salerno as well as other Muslim groups from other provinces in Campania will be in Naples to participate in the protest against the government’s proposed security package,” said the imam of Salerno, Rashid Amadia. “Right now, the faithful that come to the mosque are very worried about the new measures that the government plans to adopt on the subject of security and immigration,” Amadia added.
Naples imam Yasin Gentile is coming forward to talk about the growing garbage crisis in the city, and hope that prime minister Silvio Burlesconi can ease the issue. “We hope that Silvio Berlusconi’s arrival in Naples can resolve this rubbish crisis because with the arrival of summer, there are fears of epidemics and a sanitary emergency in this city,” said Gentile. Gentile, who said that the issue isn’t a major topic of discussion in the city’s mosque, is an Italian convert to Islam, and graduated from the University of Medina in Saudi Arabia.
A 1,000 square meter mosque is scheduled to be opened soon in Naples. “For a number of years we have had various problems with some of those living close to the mosque because there are so many Muslims present during Friday prayers at the mosque that they tend to take up space on the adjacent streets and block traffic for hours,” said Abdullah Cozzolino, the director of the Naples Piazza Mercto Mosque. Around 4,000 Muslims currently attend this mosque, but several informal prayer areas have popped up to deal with prayer overflow. The new mosque, which is scheduled to open before the beginning of summer, will also include a cultural center and have facilities to host conferences.
Italian prime minister Romano Prodi and his Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero plan to meet in Naples to discuss issues of immigration, as more and more migrants seem to be killed attempting to make the risky trip from Africa. Hundreds of people die each year trying to cross into the two countries to try and reach the European mainland.