Italy: Anti-Islamic auction a Catholic church to a Muslim association

In the northern Italian region of Lombardy, the right-wing party Lega – who is in power – gets criticized because they have auctioned a Catholic church to a Muslim association, while the party is known for its anti-Islamic rhetoric and in Italy for years on the barricades goes against mosques. Among others, the mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori (from the center-left PD), denounces the hypocrisy of the regional government.

According to Gori, Lega made in Lombardy with the decision “a destructive owngoal”. He complains that the region has adopted an “absurd law” under the right-wing extremist party, forcing Muslims to pray in “secret cellars.” The mayor emphasizes that he does not find it a problem that a church is being converted into a mosque, but that the region has “staggered” a “spiritual spot” for only 400,000 euros.

The Lega rules nationally together with the populist Five Star movement, under Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and supplies, among others, the Minister of Internal Affairs Matteo Salvini. Nevertheless, the regional department of the national coalition partner also strongly criticized the sale of the church. “Lega campaigns against Islam every day and now sells a church to the Muslim community. When it comes to making money, mosques are suddenly okay,” says local head of department Dario Violi.

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