Rome’s Underground Mosques Breeding Ground for Islamic Extremism

Rome’s Underground Mosques Breeding Ground for Islamic Extremism

Following in the footsteps of the European capitals of Paris and Brussels, Rome is fast emerging as a place where would-be Islamists are made, an undercover investigation by the conservative daily Il Tempo reveals.

Several underground mosques in the Eternal City, the report states, are spreading hatred for the Western world, its values, and its people.

Described as “hidden places of worship,” these underground mosques—initially founded to serve the increasing number of Muslim immigrants following the 2015 European migrant crisis—are seen as potential hotbeds for radicalization, with fears that individuals may be indoctrinated into extremist ideologies, posing security threats to society.

Il Tempo highlights the dangers posed by these spaces, warning of the emergence of “lone wolves” who could perpetrate acts of violence in the name of jihad.

Having attended some services, the publication’s undercover journalist found a world of “fundamentalist imams and preachers of hatred,” who are “willing to do anything to carry out their mission against the infidel West,” as they attempt to “instill in the minds of the younger and second generation-migrants the fundamentalist doctrine of martyrdom as they cry ‘Allahu akbar!’”

While, at the onset of the migration crisis, there were about 30 underground mosques in the city, that number has nearly doubled since. The Italian government has been keeping its eye on such mosques—whose services are mainly held in warehouses, garages, basements, and apartments—all that time.

At the prompting of Minister of the Interior Matteo Piantedosi, who has served in that role in the Meloni cabinet since October 2022, authorities have mapped out 53 such mosques in Rome alone, though they suspect the existence of over 100.

While technically considered illegal, they are nonetheless tolerated and classified as being either no risk, medium risk, or increased risk on a radicalization scale.

At least half of these, the Interior Ministry has admitted, are being constantly kept under observation, because they are considered medium and high risk.

The issue is not confined to Rome alone, as undercover journalists from the news program Fuori dal Coro recently discovered, having visited similar underground mosques in Milan during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

When interviewed, instead of disavowing it, one individual instead embraced his identity as a “radical Islamist,” expressing hostile views towards Italy and broader Western society.

His statements, including references to kicking out Jews and conquering the West, have sparked concerns about extremist ideologies running rampant within immigrant communities while the host culture is perceived as being too weak to put up much resistance.

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