Milan mosque to be closed down

    A mosque in Milan that has been deemed controversial by some, is to be shut down, said the Italian government. The Jenner mosque has about 4,000 worshippers each week, and people often spill out onto the streets during Friday prayers. After complaints from local residents, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said that he will close the mosque by this August. The Catholic church has come out in support of the Muslim community in Milan, and leading Roman Catholic Monsignor Gianfranco Bottoni accused Mr. Maroni of behaving like a fascist. A local statium has offered space for worshippers to pray for the time being. However, the stadium would only be available four days a week, and each person would be charged on entry. The president of the Jenner mosque, Abdel Hamid Shaari said that he is happy to pay, but the mosque’s members won’t be treated like nomads. Those who choose to pray outside the mosque in protest would be fined this according to a law regarding the obstruction of streets and passageways. While no specific reason has been cited for the mosque’s closure, the move is related to community complaints about the mosque being in a residential area, and concerns over hygiene issues related to halal butchers operating from inside the mosque.

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