Italy has deported a Moroccan imam, saying he poses a danger to Italy’s national security.
Rabat – Italy deported a Moroccan imam on a direct flight to Casablanca on Monday, March 18, on the grounds of radicalism.
The Italian la Voce outlet reported that the imam was propagating extremist interpretations of Qur’anic precepts during his sermons.
The Italian Ministry of the Interior deported Houssam Din Rouzak, 36, “for security reasons,” the Italian Corriere Torino news outlet reported.
Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini described Din Rouzak in a tweet as “radicalized” and “violent.” There is “zero tolerance for those who, in the name of God, attempt to wage war in our homeland,” he wrote.
Italian intelligence services have kept a close watch on Din Rouzak since 2012, when he adopted a rigid understanding of the Qur’an and showed an “aggressive attitude” towards colleagues at the Center of Islamic Studies in Novara.
A permanent resident in Italy, Din Rouzak recently became an imam at a mosque in Vercelli, a city near Milan. His behavior became more pronounced after he became imam at the Islamic Cultural Association of Vercelli in 2017.
The Vercelli community relieved Din Rouzak of his duties last summer after he picked violent quarrels with other Muslims, according to la Voce.
Since his appointment at the Vercelli mosque in 2017, Din Rouzak was “extremely radical and critical of his Muslim compatriots for keeping company with Italians,” reported Italian newspaper II Messagero.
According to Salvini, Italy has expelled approximately 384 people considered dangerous to the country’s security since 2015: 21 people in 2019, 126 in 2018, 105 in 2017, and 66 in 2016, and 66 in 2015.