Lacking recognition, Italy’s Muslims face an uncertain future

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Sarwar Jahan, 26, a street souvenir merchant in Rome, is one of many Muslim immigrants to Italy. Photo courtesy Mustafa Hameed

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ROME (RNS) In a country dominated by Roman Catholics, Muslims make up Italy's second-largest religious group. But unlike smaller religious groups, Italian Muslims are not officially recognized by the government.

  • A sad situation for Italy’s Muslims. I personally, feel Islam (and Judaism) has a much better understanding of G-d than Christians do. There is no G-d but G-d. The Trinity was made up at the Council of Nicene.

  • Tomjunlee

    If only your statement had any historical merit about the Council of Nicene. The council primarily condemned Arius and his followers for making up new teaching that was not found in scripture or the early fathers. People already expressed Trinitarian views earlier before the council.

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  • Alan

    It seems that the main issue here is that Islam does not get its fair share of tax breaks and special privileges in Italy. The obvious solution is not to give tax breaks or special privileges to ANY religion.

    Why does the government need to officially recognize religions at all? People should be free to follow any religion, or no religion, without any need for recognition by the government.

  • Brendan

    Even if you feel the Trinity is an invention, it would historically inaccurate to say it was invented at the Council of Nicaea. You might say it was defended, clarified, or defined by the Council of Nicaea but it was already believed by the majority of Christians at that time. It was the fact that Arius and his followers held a minority view, that the Arians were expelled from the Church as a result of the Councils decision. But the Trinity was certainly not invented at Nicaea.

  • Brendan

    I’m confused, are Muslims not free to follow Islam in Italy?

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  • rae

    Italy or in fact rome is a religious destination to christians n Catholics…..just like Mecca to Muslims…the Muslims wants recognition and rights in Italy…[expletive deleted]…..what if christians build a church in Mecca….it will start the armegeddon……to hell wit U…..

  • giorgio

    actually the first christians made their first appearance in Armenia, then the argument should be valid for Armenia not Italy. ahahahah!!!

  • ady

    well being a non muslim and an asian. I will support italy . Italy is a catholic state so it will be right on the part of italy to outlaw islam. All those who have solidarity with islam should be deported. These islamists should go to middle east. Islam is a threat to italy.

  • TheRealTruth

    Italy is not America.

  • Andy Paul

    Islam is a supremacist, intolerant ideology which seeks special status in non-Muslim lands before pushing further, subverting the indigenous culture with the aid of the politically correct multiculturalists.

    Islam demands rights that it does not extend to non-Muslim minorities in Muslims lands. When there is a cathedral and synagogue in Mecca then we can talk, not before.

  • R Sadiq

    Suggesting that America goes overboard in accommodating minorities, especially Muslims is baseless and downright ignorant. America was founded on the beliefs of pluralism and diversity. It’s just taken us a few centuries to get it right. Do us a favor and return to whatever cave you ancestors came from. Take your whole family and we’ll pay for the costs.

  • R Sadiq

    “Islam is a supremacist, intolerant ideology which seeks special status in non-Muslim lands before pushing further, subverting the indigenous culture with the aid of the politically correct multiculturalists. “
    Which would explain why Muslims destroyed the native civilization and culture of 3 continents: North America, South America, and Australia. Christopher Columbus by your logic was a crypto-Muslim!

  • Rocco sifredi

    The thing is Muslim want to change America value and prevent free speech. They want to change America first amendment to become syariah. Why do they want to go back and live like it’s in the 7th century? Sadiq please do yourself a favour, buy a plan ticket with your own money (not with the taxpayer money) and go to some Muslim country the place that you all share the same beliefs

  • Rocco sifredi

    Yup just like they destroy Mecca from the Pagan, Spain, North Africa, India, Egypt, Armenian, Aceh the list will go on cause they will not stop till all the unbelievers either convert, pay jiziyh or die. It’s in the quran read it!

  • 62peppe

    The muslims are completelly free to worship their religion and convert other people in Italy.

    The fact that the islamic community hasn’t yet made an agreement with the italian state ins’t the blame of the state or of the Catholic church, but of the islamic community which is divided and which hasn’t so far designated representatives able to speack on behalf of the whole islamic community in Italy.
    Yet, the italian Constitution alone garantees fredom of religion for everybody, and muslims are not an axception.
    For example, the biggest mosque of the western world is in Rome, not far away from Saint Peter’s Cathedral, and has been visited by the Pope himself. It would be as if a christian cathedral was built near Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.

    Instead, countries with muslim majority do not garantee the same complete freedom of religion, most of them forbidding the conversion of muslims to other religions, the construction of new chirches, making laws meant to subdue believers of other religions and tollerating or promoting their persecution, erpsecially christians.

    Constitution of the Republic of Italy
    Art. 3
    All citizens have equal social dignity and are equal before the law, without distinction of sex, race, language, religion, political opinions, personal and social conditions.
    It is the duty of the Republic to remove those obstacles of an economic and social nature which, really limiting the freedom and equality of citizens, impede the full development of the human person and the effective participation of all workers in the political, economic and social organization of the country.
    Art. 8
    All religious confessions are equally free before the law.
    Religious confessions other than Catholic have the right to organize in accordance with their own statutes, in so far as they are not in conflict with Italian laws.
    Their relations with the State are regulated by law on the basis of an accord between the respective representatives.

  • john lionson

    The christians did not make their first appearance in armenia.

    armenia was the first nation or state or country or whatever title you care to use which, if memory servers, accepted christianity in 301 ade (or ad for you christians) as their official religion,and they still practice the rituals pretty much as they did back then.

    i guess you might say that lord krishna and his religion was the original moroccan leather bound first edition,,judaism was the hard copy, christianity was the paper back, and muhammadanism is a xerox copy…and you can forget about all the rest since then….just fakirs….

    If I can simplify it, muhammad showed up back then and did yet another of the many “Jesus” type plays, speaking lines about peace and good will, which had been played out a few times over the previous 3,000 years….same play, different characters….

    evidently, the inhabitants of other lands decided that, seeing as they already had seen a “jesus play”, why bother.

    so, mohammed and the 3 caliphs after him decided to preach another tune entitled, “covert or die, infidel!”.

    over the next 100 years or so, those 3 caliphs stole more turf than alexander the great, and murdered more people than attila the hun, primarily it seems because everything that non-moslems said, or did, or wore, or ate, or practiced offended their god…go figure….and it “ain’t changed” much at all…

    give them an inch and they’ll take a mile…and then behead you!

    as one of the biblical sayings goes, “do unto other before they do unto you”….capisci?


  • flevin

    What is this? One rule for muslims and one for others.. Do you allow any other religious people in saudi or other gulf countries to be a citizen? Then why do you want to be in other countries

  • flevin

    As my consern Italy shout keep its culture safely from muslim invaders or they will swallo the ital in next 100 years. They dont want pease they just want jihad or jisya

  • TruthGuy

    The thing is, Catholics haven’t done that for ages. You guys have brought it into the 21rst century. There is no place in Rome for It, And Italian catholics are not people to have things taken from them.

    Do you really want to wake up that sleeping beast that had you people running scared for hundreds of years? If you threaten the sanctity of Italian Catholicism you are going to regret that very sorely.

    Go to America, you have a chance there.

  • Leesa


  • You clearly are ignorant and have absolutely no knowledge of judeo-christianity to make that ridiculous comment. neither you have an ability to reason

  • that is a ridiculous comment ignorant of any knowledge that the judeochristianity is one. the bible is whole.