Italy: Muslim Intellectual Urges Action On Fundamentalism

Italy: Muslim intellectual urges action on fundamentalism

ADN Kronos International (Italy), October 15, 2009

Rome (AKI) — The president of the association of Italian Muslims, Ahmad Gianpiero Vincenzo, has urged measures to tackle the problem of religious extremism. 'We need to analyse fundamentalism and develop practical action to combat this,' said Vincenzo. His call came after a 35-year-old Libyan earlier this week carried out a botched bomb attack against a military barracks in Italy's northern city of Milan.

'We know very little about the channels through which extremists are being funded,' said Vincenzo.

He is also a consultant on immigration for the Italian Senate's Constitutional Affairs Commission and a member of Rome Mosque's General Assembly.

'We also need to know the extremists' geographical distribution across the country and the real targets of their propaganda,' Vincenzo said.

Until now, very little has been done in Italy to support the creation of a moderate, official Islam, he noted.

'There is no public funding for the training of imams. This can only result in self-styled preachers and dodgy sources of funding,' Vincenzo said.

He and a group of Italian jurists are drafting legislation that would regulate places of worship for religions like Islam which don't currently have an agreement with the Italian state.

'The bill will place greater value on institutions that are officially recognised by the Italian state, such as Rome's Grand Mosque.

'And it sanctions the creation of schools for imams and mosques which are managed with maximum degree of transparency,' he concluded.