Translated Italian newspaper reports indicate that the mayor of Bologna Italy has decided to postpone the construction of a large mosque expected to be under the control of the Unione delle ComunitÃ ed organizzazioni Islamiche in Italia (UCOII), the largest Muslim Brotherhood organization in Italy. According to the reports, the decision was made to postpone the project, described as a “massive 6,000 square meter mosque inside a 52,000 square meter Islamic citadel, pending an investigation into the sources of financing for the mosque following the suggestion of the Italian Interior Minister. The report also adds details about the role of the UCOII in the Italian Islamic community:
In Italy full-scale mosques number three, thus far. The first, in chronological order (1980), is the mosque in Catania, a gift from Libya to Sicily. Then comes the mosque in Segrate (1988), or the Misericordioso mosque, which is small, but which has a dome and a minaret, and is under the control of the UCOII, the Union of Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy, which is regarded as being close to Islamic extremists, and which is the owner of it. The UCOII is also said to have an important role in Bologna and Genoa, which are de facto offshoots of it, and the organization boasts control of 80 per cent of places of worships in Italy. It is also resistant to systematic dialogue with the Italian authorities and is against joint bodies, for example on the training of imams.
One of the reports also notes that another mosque linked to the UCOII, to be built in the town of Colle Val d’Elsa on land donated by the town council, was approved with funding of 500,000 euros from Monte dei Paschi Bank.
( Sources: BBC Monitoring Europe – Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring September 21, 2007 Friday “Italian plans for new mosques on hold over funding” Text of report by Italian newspaper Il Sole-24 Ore website on 20 September
BBC Monitoring Europe – Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring September 19, 2007 Wednesday “Italian daily examines mayor’s decision for vote on mosque “Text of report by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on 19 September)