Muslims in Italy protest against terrorism

Rome Muslims demonstrate against Paris killings.

Muslims in Rome will demonstrate in Piazza SS. Apostoli in the centre of Rome to protest against terrorist violence in the name of Islam on Saturday 21 November.

Not in My Name is the slogan of the Unione delle Comunità Islamiche Italiane (Ucioo) – one of many Islamic organisations in Italy – to unite Italian Muslims against the Paris killings, to disassociate themselves from terrorist violence and to underline their commitment to peace and inter-religious dialogue.

There are no precise numbers as to how many Muslims live in Italy. Estimates go from one to one and a half million – mainly Sunnis. Most come from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and increasingly in recent years from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Ghana.

Rome is home of one of the biggest mosques in Europe, designed by Paolo Portoghesi, founded by Afghani royals exiled in Italy in the 1920s and financed by Saudi Arabia. It was inaugurated in 1995 and is managed by an active cultural centre. The current imam is Egyptian. The first mosque in Italy was built in Catania in the 1980s and today there are mosques throughout the country, mainly in the north.

There is no one umbrella organisation for Muslims living in Italy therefore the demonstration in Rome, which unites various groups, is unusual.

The demonstration in Piazza SS. Apostoli begins at 15.00.