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Muslim councillor Aicha Mesrar flees Italy in fear for her life after death threats

Aicha-Mesrar

Ayaan Hirsi Ali received acclaim and fame after she received death threats and required security. On the other hand a proud Muslim coucillor, Aicha Mesrar, who wears the hijab has been forced to leave Italy after experiencing extreme racism, death threats and requiring security will not receive attention because it would highlight a serious issue in Europe: extreme and violent Islamophobia

By Michael Day, The Independent

Italy’s first Muslim councillor says she is fleeing the country after a series of death threats, in the latest example of racism suffered by the country’s non-white public figures, from politicians to football players.

Aicha Mesrar, 45, resigned from her post as local councillor for the Democratic Party in Rovereto, in the northern Trentino province, saying she feared for her children’s lives.

The Moroccan-born politician, who has lived in Italy for 23 years, has been an active and effective community liaison worker, according to local media. She was the first woman to wear a veil in the city hall. The city’s Mayor, Andrea Miorandi, had hailed her appointment as president of the local Open City cooperative.

On announcing her resignation, however, she said: “I cannot always live under escort. I have no fear and it is not the fault of the people of Rovereto, but of some. I leave with pride, satisfied with everything I have done, what I did and what I received.” She has not said where she intends to move to.

The threats against her have come in the form of anonymous letters. The police, who have provided special protection for councillor and her family for two years, are investigating where they may have come from.

Mayor Andrea Miorandi, a political ally of Ms Mesrar, has also been threatened due to his backing for a Muslim cemetery and a mosque to be built in the city, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper.

Bruno Dorigatti, the head of the provincial government, expressed his alarm at the news. “If Aicha Mesrar, an extraordinary example of commitment towards building bridges between cultures – in Rovereto and Trentino – decides to abandon her post and even leave the country, then everyone should be concerned,” he said. “If she has to give in to intimidation and anonymous threats it means that Trentino has yet to defeat the dangerous disease of intolerance.”

But the immigrant-bating Northern League, many of whose politicians have aimed racist abuse at non-whites living in Italy, mocked Mr Dorigatti’s comments. The party’s regional secretary, Maurizio Fugatti, said: “This isn’t the impression of many people in Trentino who themselves feel discriminated against by the supply of public subsidies to foreigners.

“So we won’t accept lessons about tolerance from Ms Aicha Mesrar. We don’t know why she’s leaving Trentino.

“Certainly, we won’t be lacking in foreigners like her, who’ve come to this province as guests and exploited Trentino’s social services then ungratefully stabbed Trentino’s citizens in the back.”

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  • Nur

    Why oh Zionist boot licker do you twist my words.

    No society lives in harmony when you let people discern their own best interests rather than blindly defend ideology. Not living in harmony is a product of true democracy. You confuse harmony with uniformity, which, in your case is voluntary slavery.

    I said that the Gazans didn’t turn on each other, not that they live in harmony.

  • Jekyll

    people living in the same place for thousands of years naturally show hiccups when people that are very different from them show up in their places.

  • HSkol

    And, the worst part – it seems that she was not only participating, but actually contributing and committing herself to others.

  • HSkol

    So, if I correctly read Maurizio Furgatti’s intent behind his words, “We don’t know why she’s leaving Trentino,” he’s really saying, “We’re happy she’s leaving Trentina – one less of ‘them’ to deal with.” Aicha Mesrar sounds like a class-act to me (though I really know nothing about her other than what has been reported here). Isn’t a class-act preferred to an ignorant “one-of-my-own”, since a class-act is actually able to contribute to society itself? I don’t know . . . I’m far too often at a loss when it comes to the views of xenophobic people . . . I simply cannot understand them.

  • mindy1

    How sad, she tries to participate in life and gets hated for it >:(

  • Heinz Catsup

    Oh Al Italia…

  • Nur

    I wonder…

    As I remember candidate Mitt Romney staring into occupied Palestine from ‘Israel’ mentioned the difference in cultures, had he done the same thing, looking from Gaza into Italy.

    The difference in culture as nothing to do with religion or race, it has to do with maturity. What the Zionists fail to do to the people of Gaza is force them to turn against each other in 8 years by strangling their economy, and rationing their goods and commerce, with a regular schedueled bombing campaign before Zionist elections only took two years to achieve in Italy and Greece.

    I wonder why?

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