Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Italian proposal

Italy's Northern League party, which is part of the governing coalition, has introduced a bill that would require that any new mosques be built at least one kilometer from any church and that any services be conducted in Italian rather than Arabic. The bill would prohibit minarets and loudspeaker chants. (Thanks to Dhimmi Watch.) It's not clear if the bill has any chance of passage.

Italy already has 258 registered mosques, and Islam is the second largest religion, with 1.2 million Muslims. Christopher Deliso in The Coming Balkan Caliphate describes how Islamists have built large mosques in the Balkans with loudspeakers for the calls to prayer from the minarets. The sound is overwhelming and sends a clear message that Christians are not welcome there. Indeed, non-Muslims have tended to move away from such areas.

I remember the amplified calls to prayer reverberating in my bedroom in Sarajevo and thinking how intrusive they were - although unamplified chants might have been quite different.

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