“The justifications presented by Yassine Lafram, president of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, are totally inadequate and incomplete; and the victimistic tone that UCOII has chosen to use is in no way useful to the cause of the Islamic assemblies they represent in Italy “: this is how, in a statement, Souad Sbai, president of the Centro Studi Averroè (specialized in anti-radicalization), talked about the position taken by the Union in the aftermath of the very detailed and timely revelations of the investigation book “Qatar Papers”, signed by the French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot.
“First of all, I am pleased to highlight,” says Souad Sbai, “that from today it is possible to confirm what we have been saying for a long time and that it has also been verified in the courtrooms: UCOII, admitted by its president, receives funding from the Emirate that is closely linked to the Salafist forces of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is a fact unknown only to those who wanted to look to the other side; a situation that we have denounced for years and that has caused fake reactions of scorn indignation and contempt every time we have tried to highlight it. Today we read that Ucoii has received 25 million euros from Qatar Charity.”
“At this point UCOII should explain,” continues the president of Centro Studi Averroè, “explain what happened with the 25 million euros that, according to Qatar Papers, arrived in Italy. In particular, it is necessary to know what has happened to the five million euros that Qatar Charity has asked back to the president of the Islamic community in Bergamo, having noticed that he had diverted them from the approved project to assign them to other purposes of which nothing is known. I ask for justice, “concludes Souad Sbai,” to put all unauthorized Islamic centers under strict surveillance and to carry out all appropriate investigations on the links between UCOII and al-Qaraḍāwī. “