WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PRIESTS? KEEP ENCOURAGING THEM AND THEY’LL BE TURNING YOUR PARISH INTO A MOSQUE…
Italy: Muslims in northern town to pray in church car park during Ramadan
Gallarate, 10 August (AKI) – Muslims in the northern Italian town of Gallarate have been offered a white tent in the local church car park in which to observe Ramadan. The holy fasting month begins early on Wednesday and lasts until 10 September.
Gallarate’s 7,000 Muslims have been fighting for a mosque since 2005, after the local council closed down several prayer halls on hygiene and security grounds.
“I am happy the church helped out again, but regrettably, we have been denied a proper mosque for years,” said local Muslim leader Hamid Khartaoui.
It is the third year in a row that the church has provided a location for Muslims to mark Ramadan, claiming it hopes the gesture will foster dialogue between religions and cultures.
“Local Muslims asked us if we could provide them with a place to hold prayers and it seemed right to me that those who want to pray should have a place to do so,” said the priest at Gallarate’s Nazarene Church, Franco Carnevali.
“There were no problems last year, and so we decided to lend a hand once again,” Carnevali added.
Some Muslim leaders say the lack of a mosque breaches their right to freedom of worship enshrined in the Italian constitution.
Muslims have held several protests outside Gallarate’s town hall over the lack of non-Christian places of worship in the town.
Gallarate’s deputy mayor Paolo Caravati was quoted by Sky News as saying a local development plan to be unveiled in September “did not rule out” the possibility of a mosque.