'Anti-mosque' law thrown out by Italy's highest court

2016-02-24 20:05


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rome - Italy's highest court on Wednesday nullified a regional law in Lombardy dubbed "anti-mosque" by critics, easing regulations on the construction of places of worship in the country's north.

The law, drawn up by the anti-immigrant party Northern League and voted in at the start of 2015, tightened rules regarding all religious buildings, but was widely believed to target the wealthy region's Muslim community.

It required new places of worship fit into the "architecture of the Lombard landscape" and be voted in by local referendum. It also stipulated the religion in question be officially recognised by the state - which Islam is not, because it lacks a signed agreement with the government.

According to the interior ministry, at the start of 2015 there were 1.6 million Muslims in Italy, 26.5% of whom lived in Lombardy, which boasts the country's oldest and second largest mosque.

While there are over 700 places of Islamic worship in the country, there are only six official mosques, with many Muslims instead praying together in make-shift areas in a growing phenomenon the ministry dubs "garage mosques".

The high court has yet to publish the motives of its ruling, but the government had previously denounced the law as going against "the exercise of fundamental rights of religious freedom" and the principle of equality among citizens.

"The left cheers Allah Akbar," Northern League hardliner and the region's president Roberto Maroni said on Twitter, while Matteo Salvini, the League's president, posted his "congratulations to the Islamic court" on its ruling.

Read more on:    italy  |  religion

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.