April 24, 2013
ROME — ”Diversity in Islam and interfaith dialogue” is the theme of a meeting to be held in Bologna, Tuesday April 30 at 10:00 am, organized by the Confederation of Italian Islam (CII). The objective of the meeting, announced by the CII is to ”create an opportunity for Islamic parties who are interested in the issues of religious freedom and interreligious dialogue.”
Founded in March 2012, CII, headed by Wahid al Fihri, aims to examine issues such as integration, citizenship and civil coexistence among peoples and religions.
April 14, 2013
Stefano, a Roman man, tells the story of his complicated love with an Indonesian woman, Bayu. In Italy, Islam is the second largest religion, with a million and a half followers. Among them, a few are Italian-born citizens: there are approximately 50,000 Italian-born converts. Among these converts is Stefano, a 39-year old photographer born and raised in Rome who is now married to 41 year old Bayu, an Indonesian woman.
Stefano in his capacity as a photographer started to work with foreign communities in Rome, the majority of which were Muslim. He says he “noticed how most of the Muslims were always calm, smiling, happy, and I began to wonder, why can’t I also be so happy? ”
Bayu and Stefano met at a party at the Indonesian embassy where Bayu’s brother worked as a diplomat. They continued to see each other in the local mosque, where Stefano was going to photograph veiled women and learn more about Islam.
April 12, 2013
The journal Oasis will focus on the role of religion in democracy. Oasis is an international multilingual journal and published by the Oasis Foundation. The inaugural volume focuses on the Arab Spring and is entitled “Transition through whom? Religions and the test of democracy. ”
The volume will be discussed on Saturday, April 13 in Rome at a local bookshop. The main section of the latest issue focuses on the social and political transition in both the Middle East and the West. According to the journal, in the Middle East “transition is set and led by Islamist movements and parties in reaction to turmoil of the civil society. However, in the West, Christians seek new forms of political engagement in an increasingly secularized society.”
Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, and Biancamaria Scarcia Amoretti both condemn the use of the Islamic faith to suppress women, denouncing those who do this as “tyrants” during a meeting in Rome on women and Islam. The discussion in Rome stemmed from the presentation of Three Women: A Challenge a book which presents an interview with three Muslim women of differing generations and countries, but united by the “challenge” of Islam and its treatment of women.
The author, Marisa Paolucci, interviewed an Iranian woman, Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, a Sudanese woman, Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim, the first woman elected to a parliament in Africa, and Malalai Joya an Afghan woman and former parliamentarian. Three profiles, which according to the author illustrate the same thing, that women are respected in Islam. To purchase the book visit http://www.emi.it/schede/2028-2.html
MAP, March 20, 2012
Andre Azoulay, adviser to King Mhammed VI, called, on Monday night in Rome, for a new Euro-Mediterranean partnership built on fairness, ambition, parity, respect and above all mutual knowledge.
Azoulay stressed the need for all partners in the region to build together a space governed by a new road map and common rules of coexistence.
Europe, which is struggling to accommodate the cultural diversity, must overcome its fears and stop being cautious, he insisted to an audience composed of ambassadors, businessmen, bankers, MPs and economic organizations’ officials.
Ipercoop, a famous Italian supermarket, has opened a halal corner in one of its branches near Rome. It is the first of its kind in Italy.
This step is the latest in time for Coop in its attempt to conquer the promising market of ‘foreign’ consumers in Italy. Immigration, in fact, represents a substantial economic opportunity in Italy since immigrants spend half of their wages locally. Large companies such as supermarkets, communication companies and banks have thus started targeting more immigrant consumers.
Firmin Adamon, of African origin arrived in Cesena more than one year ago, was ordained on the 16th of January, 2009. He converted to Catholicism as an adult and wants to be a priest. Although his family is Muslim, they didn’t oppose his choice; on the contrary, they were supportive to the point that some of his brothers followed his example converting to Catholicism and moving to Italy. Since he arrived in Italy in 2001, he started his ecclesiastical studies in Rome at the Università Pontificia Salesiana. He was welcomed in Cesena, he says, and plans to become a deacon and serve the community there.
After several immigrants of South Asian backgrounds were beaten in Rome in the last couple of weeks, a leader of the Pakistani community in the city said that episodes of racism in the Italian capital are on the rise. “Episodes of racism are on the rise in Rome, above all in certain neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city which are full of hate and frustration,” said Ejaz Ahmad of the Consulta Islamica. Ahmed cited deteriorated conditions of neighborhoods in which minorities live, saying that there are political interests involved in the lack of concern for neighborhood infrastructure. Most recently, a Pakistani immigrant was left in a coma after being beaten last week by five Italian youths, in what investigators are saying was a racially-motivated attack.
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.
Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)
An exhibition in Rome opened this week, commemorating Muslims who saved Jews during World War II. The aim of the exhibition is to “fight all the violent and radical tendencies that have unfortunately emerged in the name of religion and Islam in particular,” said Khalid Chaouki, director of Minareto.it.. The Italian Muslim Youth Association is organizing the exhibit. Among those credited with helping Jews escape arrest and transfer to concentration caps include two Bosnian Muslims, three Albanians, two Turks, and one Iranian.
Full-text article available here. (Some news sites may require registration)