Italy: Muslim group elects first female vice president

Italy: Muslim group elects first female vice president

See also: Italy: Veils not mandatory for Muslim women

A point to consider here: El-Zir says that "we are all Italians".  And yet, the only person described in this article as an Italian, both by the journalist and one of the Muslims quoted, is an ethnic Italian convert.


Italy's largest Muslim organisation, the Union of Islamic Communities of Italy (UCOII) has elected its first woman to a senior position. Italian convert Khadija Patrizia Del Monte, from the northern city of Reggio Emilia, was elected vice-president during the organisation's annual general assembly in Bologna on Sunday. Del Monte converted to Islam in 1990.

"It seems that the election of sister Khadija Patrizia Del Monte, an Italian woman, to the vice-presidency signals an important change, above all from a cultural point of view," Hamza Piccardo, told Adnkronos International (AKI). Piccardo runs the Italian Muslim website

The twenty-year-old Rome-based organisation was created to provide services to Muslims in predominately Catholic Italy.

On Sunday the UCOII also elected the Florence imam, Ezzedin el-Zir as its new president. El-Zir, a Palestinian, has lived in Italy for more than 15 years.

"At this time for me the most important thing is to rebuild our community inside in a way to make everyone understand we are an integral part of Italian society," El-Zir told AKI after his election.

"I will work for the next four years in a way that everyone can understand how much we Muslims are an integral part of society. We are all Italians of Islamic faith and this is the most important concept to carry forward."

He said Del Monte was chosen as vice-president, not because she was a woman but she was very capable."


Source: AKI (English)

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