Muslims in Italy fear backlash after London Bridge terrorist identified as Italian

Muslims in Italy fear backlash after London Bridge terrorist identified as Italian

A terrorist attack took place at London Bridge

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Italian Muslims have expressed their fears of a backlash against them after one of the terrorists in the London Bridge attack was identified as half-Italian.

Youssef Zaghba was shot and killed police after he attacked London Bridge with two others, killing at least eight people and leaving many others injured.

He had an Italian passport and his mother lives near Bologna, according to The Local.

The imam at the centre where Zaghba's mother worships, Mohamed Ben Salem said: "All that has nothing to do with Islam, it was the work of crazies.

"It is not going to help things, people [in Italy] have been mixing up Muslims with terrorism for a long time.

"If [Zaghba] had lived full-time in Italy and had attended our mosque, he would never have picked up these kind of ideas, never."

The man who conducted the attack is said to have visited his mother rarely and never visited the mosque she attends.

One person at the mosque, Bahi Cherkaouin, said that Muslims have been working to build up a confident relationship with non-Muslims but these kind of attacks harm it.

The imam has urged the public to report any one who they believe is being radicalised to the authorities.

He also said: "We always urge people to come and see us, to take part in our open door events, because it is ignorance that leads to these acts of terror.

"These young people who blow themselves up, who blindly kill innocent people, they are empty inside and they understand nothing of our religion."

Islam is not a recognised religion in Italy and so mosques are not given state funding and Muslim employees are guaranteed time off work for religious festivals.

Despite this it is believed to be the second most-followed faith in the country.