Source: Daily Times
ROME: Several hundred Muslims staged a protest prayer outside the Colosseum in Rome on Friday over what they see as unfair restrictions on their freedom to practise their faith in Italy.
Organisers said that they had called the demonstration following the recent closure on administrative grounds of five makeshift mosques. Many Italian Muslims suspect local authorities are responding to a climate of mistrust caused by recent Islamist attacks in Europe by closing down the places of worship on the grounds of easily resolved problems such as the number of toilets on a particular premises.
“We feel people are pointing the finger at us,” said Francesco Tieri, a convert to Islam who acts as a coordinator for a number of Islamic groups. “There is no political will to recognise that we are here and that we are a peaceful community. “We are forced to rent places to pray — which for us is like breathing air, if we can’t do it we die.”