Italian Muslim Brotherhood Protests Police Mosque SurveillanceBy
An Italian news portal has reported that a spokesman for the the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy (UCOII) what he called the “cataloging” of Muslims attending a mosque in the north of the country. According to an Adnkronos report:
A Muslim leader in Italy has deplored the ‘cataloguing’ by police in recent weeks of Muslims attending mosque in the northern city of Treviso and surrounding areas. Treviso is a stronghold of the anti-immigrant Northern League party. “The incidents reported of what amounts to the mass catalogues of Muslims in the province of Treviso are of unpredecented in gravity,” the spokesman for Italy’s largest Muslim umbrella group UCOII, Hamza Piccardo, told Adnkronos International (AKI). Piccardo, a Muslim convert said he had only learned of the situation on Friday when a Muslim told him police stopped him outside a mosque in Montebello in the province of Treviso and asked to see his documents. The police also photographed all the Muslims attending Friday prayers at the Montebello mosque, Piccardo said. “We interpret this as a very serious act of intimidation,” he said, nonetheless urging Muslims to report such incidents. Hamza said local Muslims told him similar “cataloguing” of the faithful has occurred at mosques in the towns of Cornuda and Castelfranco Veneto. A similar incident took place in the town of Villorba, a member of the Consulta Islamica official body set up by the Italian government to dialogue with the Muslim community, Mohammed Ahmed, told AKI. “What’s going on is wrong, because Muslims attending prayers at a mosque are not committing any crime,” said Ahmed, an Egyptian journalist. Ahmed said he would bring up the issue at the next meeting of the Consulta Islamica in Rome.
The UCOII is generally is thought to represent the Muslim Brotherhood in Italy and is probably a member of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the EU-level Islamic organization claiming to represent the Muslims of Europe, although it is not listed as the FIOE contact organization in that country. For background on the UCOII, go here.