Khalid Chaouki has been announced as President of the Grande Moschea of Rome, the largest mosque in Italy and outside of the Arab world. On the 17th of October, during the general assembly, the MP of the Partito Democratico was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Italy (also the largest in Italy and in Europe) whilst Abdellah Redouane has been confirmed as Secretary General.
Chaouki is without a doubt the paradigm of second generation muslims in Italy: born in Casablanca in 1983 and arriving in Italy at the age of nine years old, his current political engagement sees him involved in the reformation of citizenship laws. As a professional journalist, other than for Reset and Reset DOC, he has collaborated with various media agencies such as the ANSAmed press agency, il Corriere del Mezzogiorno, la Repubblica, il Riformista and Al Jazeera.
As well as being coordinator of the parliamentary intergroup ‘Immigration and Citizenship’ and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Deputies he has, since April 2013, been President of the Cultural Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly ‘Unione per il Mediterraneo’, the international organization which intends to promote positive relations between the EU and the nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Following his recent election, Chaouki declared his intention to transform the edifice from being “the mosque of the state” to “the mosque of the Italian Muslim community” and to summon “all the leaders of Islamic Italy to get them involved”. Obviously this remark was made in reference to the ongoing attempts at mediating the tensions often felt between the two primary spheres of influence within this structure: those of Moroccan and Saudi origin.
Moreover, as he had declared a few weeks ago in occasion of his meeting with the Moroccan delegation concerned with the education of Imams, Chaouki had outlined Italy’s strong, collaborative and amicable ties with Morocco: “a friend and an important partner in the fight against any form of violent radicalism”. He goes on to say “building diplomatic and cooperative bridges is particularly important in these times order to promote future initiatives in the field of religious education with the intent of preventing extremism and promotion of peaceful values, coexistence and nonviolence”.
Congratulations and best wishes to Khalid Chaouki on behalf of the Reset and Reset DOC team.
Translated by Liam MacGregor-Hastie
Credit: Alberto Pizzoli / AFP