Italy: Muslim forced to withdraw from elections

Italy: Muslim forced to withdraw from elections

A prominent Italian convert to Islam, Hamza Piccardo, says his 25-year-old son Gabriele has been forced to withdraw as a conservative candidate in next month's local elections in the northern Italian city of Imperia because of his religion.

"My son has been discriminated against because he is a Muslim," Piccardo told Adnkronos International (AKI).

"Setting aside the affection I have for my son, what has happened is the result of very serious discrimination against an Italian citizen, which has an entirely religious character," said Piccardo.

He is the former secretary of Italy's largest Muslim grouping, UCOII.

Gabriele, who had been due to run as a candidate for the ruling conservative People of Freedom party, wanted to contribute to Imperia's development, said Piccardo.

"He had a very interesting and innovative electoral programme that contained no references whatsoever to mosques or the Muslim community."

The anti-immigrant Northern League party which forms part of Italy's ruling coalition, was responsible for Gabriele's demise as a candidate, Piccardo claimed.


Gabriele Piccardo was quoted by Italian daily Corriere della Sera on Thursday as defending Israel's right to exist, as backing "the existence of two peaceful peoples" and opposing poligamy.


Source: AKI (English)

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