Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been promoting a hate Muslim campaign in order to stir fears of those who are different in order to gain political popularity. He now intends to limit the growth of Islam in a nation that has long been regarded as a center of Catholicism by blocking the construction of mosques by imposing strict new building regulations. The anti immigrant Northern League is pushing for a bill which will make difficult construction of new mosques. Berlusconi and the Northern League are counting on growing fear among Christian Italians over newly arrived Muslims. Abdel Hamid Aha’ari, president of the Islamic Cultural Institute of Milan, said “there are still situations where I feel uncomfortable or strange because they(Italians) don’t see me as someone who is integrated” despite the fact of having lived in Italy for seventeen years.
The Northern League has employed childish methods of displaying anti-Muslim feeling such as having Roberto Calderoli, who later became a member of the cabinet, walk his pet pig over a proposed site for a mosque. Northern League MP Andrea Gibelli insists mosques discourage integration and are places of cultural indoctrination and spread terrorism. The proposed bill would ban construction of mosques within a kilometer of a church and oblige imams to speak Italian.
One can only wonder if Rabbis are allowed to serve in a synagogue who do not speak Italian.