Lawmaker Calls for Referendums on Requests to Build Mosques

March 24, 2004


On March 24, 2004 posted an Associated Press article that reported, "Allies of Premier Silvio Berlusconi are pushing for a law that would require referendums on requests to build mosques in Italy, contending that Islamic culture is "historically antithetical" to Italian culture. The Northern League, one of the parties in Berlusconi's conservative government coalition, unveiled the legislation being proposed in the Chamber of Deputies at a news conference in Rome Wednesday. 'The Madrid attacks show how dangerous is Islamic terrorism, which we have to deal with in our house, too,' said the League's Chamber No. 2 whip Federico Bricolo, referring to the March 11 train bombings in which Islamic extremists are the main suspects. Mosques in Italy 'aren't simple places of prayers' but sometimes serve as 'centers of recruitment for terrorists and for propagation of hatred for the West,' said Bricolo, one of the proposed law's authors, citing Italian anti-terrorism investigators' conclusions that Italy has become a major center for recruiting potential Islamic terrorists."