The grand Mosque of Rome
Nobody's stopped. All the cars went by and were caught in the green and higher up, where the streets have the names of movie stars. There were the houses, nestled in the slopes, legacy of an economy and a society that does no longer exist. There were the gardens, the green sheets to the doors and, higher still, the luxurious rest homes. Old simulacra of a desire, came back even more alive, to isolate themselves and seclude. The illusion of leaving the others, less fortunate, as far as possible. To push them down there, there, where the city storms itself every day in his rumpled bed. The building of the mosque was warming in the sun on a saturday in late summer. For the current climate, you'd be almost surprised that it was an Italian to set it up more than thirty years ago. The parking in front of it, it seems an empyt beach.
An Italian that set up a mosque? If you think about it, nothing is more natural. A city grows only if it is able to accept others. But dou you imagine the troubles for an italian who wants to set up the mosque in Milan? If, soon or later, it will be realized this mosque in Milan. The deputy mayor of Milan said that a referendum is necessary before allowing the construction of the place of worship. A popular survey as a tool for building community. Sandro Pertini, in 1984, when he was president, had come here in this street of Rome to deposit the first stone. Who knows what now he would say about the deputy mayor of Milan.
Then, I started to walk to come in. I stopped at the gate to ask to the keeper inside the sentry box. It's closed to the visits. I came back more tired than before. For the heat and the disappointment. It was too late, "only the morning of Wednesday and Saturday", said the keeper while talking on the phone. Did I expect some more? Perhaps an invitation to enter? On a book that describes the mood of those years, it is recalled as the opening, celebrated in 1995, was postponed from month to month. "This clearly shows that there were problems of political, diplomatic, and perhaps even cultural." I turned around for a while. Then went back and stopped to look through the green spears of the fence. Irene Pivetti, the Lega's young president of the Chamber of Deputies, who then began a television career as a housewife-trash, was among those who opposed the mosque. In 1994 he even attended, against the opening, a Mass at Lepanto' Circle. It was one of the many events that would come later. I walked few more steps in the desolate parking lot. Then it was time to leave. The evening progressed among the mosque and the Parioli's buildings. I shuddered a little as the wind got up. Lower down, the city, restlessly, has already begun to torture itself.