Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Italian Muslims to Vote Communist

As American immigrant rights activists gather in the streets of Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, Italian Muslims are beginning their own campaign for freedom. The Union of Islamic Communities in Italy (UCOII) has called on Italy's Muslim population to vote for the Italian Communist Party.

In a e-mail sent to Italian Muslim leaders, UCOII member Hamza Piccardro said that Communist candidate Oliviero Diliberto has been sensitive to the needs of immigrant groups, especially Arabs and Muslims, when he was in power in the 1990's. Hazma said of Diliberto, "We spoke at length about the community's problems and needs, agreeing that the government needed to take more action on its behalf. Diliberto was extremely interested and helpful. In particular, we spoke to him about the problem of celebrating Ramadan in prisons, asking the ministry to make sure that dinner was served when [Muslim inmates] could interrupt their fast."

Diliberto is running in opposition to Silvio Berlusconi of the Northern League Party. The NLP has established itself on a xenophobic - even racist - anti-immigration policy that would hurt Muslims.