Italian rightists pull prayer rug from Islamic business meeting
Elected officials from Italy's anti-immigrant Northern League party removed a prayer rug set up for Muslim guests at an Islamic business conference
Elected officials from Italy's anti-immigrant Northern League party raided a room in Turin city hall and removed a prayer rug set up for Muslim guests at an Islamic business conference, an act the city's mayor said was offensive and ignorant.
City counsellors Fabrizio Ricca and Riccardo Carbonero bundled up the rug set up in a make-shift prayer room set up for Mulsim participants at a conference on Islamic fashion and removed it, a video on the party's Facebook page showed.
An unidentified person took the rug away from them, the video showed. It was later set up in another room.
Gianmarco Montanari, head of economic development for the Turin city government and an organiser of the event, told Reuters that participants were in another conference room and the episode did not disrupt the proceedings.
Turin Mayor Piero Fassino called the action "offensive behaviour for the city and its guests and a show of ignorance".
In an editorial, the Turin newspaper La Stampa called the Northern League counsellors "political bullies" and said their action would hurt the city by deterring business from the Islamic world.
The Northern League, which consolidated its position as the strongest party on the right of Italian politics in regional elections last May, is against the building of mosques in Italy opposes the wearing of head scarves by Muslim women.
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