Democratic Party out of touch, says former MP

Former MP Khaled Fouad Allam is expressing his dissatisfaction with Italy’s recent parliamentary elections, citing the loss of representation by Italy’s centre-left Democratic party due to a philosophical breakdown within the party. Allam accused the centre-left of “eulogizing (US Democratic presidential hopeful) Barack Obama and calling his candidacy epoch-making, while failing to field a single new Italian citizen as a candidate on its lists.” Commenting on Berlusconi’s win and the gains of the Northern League, Allam expressed concern that little progress would be made from this election, except that: “Italy will maintain and seek to strengthen its relations with the Arab world – its dependence on it for oil and gas make any change of direction inadvisable.” Allam is a member of Consulta Islamica, a government appointed body to represent various Muslim communities in Italy.

Protest against new mosque in Siena

Prominent Italian Muslim Khaled Fouad Allam is joining a protest against the building of a mosque in the central Italian town of Siena. “I am against the building of the mosque, not because I believe the faithful should not have the right to a place of worship but because it is premature to have mosques without controlling the imams,” said Allam. Allam is a former member of the Italian parliament, and joins centre-right Forza senator Gaetano Quagliariello to oppose the mosque. Quagliariello has stated that imams should follow a multi-disciplinary training like that of the new program offered by the Catholic Institute in Paris.

Parties woo Muslim candidates for April polls

For the first time in the country’s history, almost all party lists in Italy’s mid-April elections will contain at least one Muslim candidate. Among the hopefuls include Souad Sbai, the Moroccan Women’s Association president, also a member of Italy’s Consulta Islamica, a government’ appointed consultative body for Muslims in Italy. Italy’s Northern League has its eyes set on Moroccan-born Zakkaria Najibi, a local councillor in Padua, and strong opponent of illegal immigration. The centre-left Democrat party is expected to court sociology lecturer and columnist Khaled Fouad Allam, while the Values party is urging for support of Islamic studies lecturer Ahmad Vincenzo as a candidate for the Senate.