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for Rome city
“It is necessary for us to participate
in political life, in the life of political
parties. The political forces, on their
part, must then give ample space
to issues such as immigration and
Among those running for the elections
in April to choose representatives for
Rome’s city council is Khalid Chaouki,
the political life of the country.” appointed body created to represent
the founder of a group known as the
However Chaouki also knows there the various Muslim groups in Italy,
Young Muslims, an association that
its a long road to achieving this goal. which he claims has not lived up to
brings together second generation
He could not hide his envy for its potential.
Muslim immigrants in Italy.
the situation of second generation “In the Consulta I have had a glimpse
“The fact that a young Muslim is
immigrants in neighbouring countries of a space in which one can open a
already a candidate on the same
such as France where they have dialogue between the diverse realities
level as many other Italian citizens
managed to occupy important of Islam in Italy, but unfortunately not
represents a new and important
positions in various departments such all of the components shared this spirit
step,” said Chaouki in an interview
as the department of Justice. of dialogue and the need to create an
with Adnkronos International (AKI).
“I want to know long it’s going to take Italian Islam.”
Chaouki is running as a candidate
for the Italian society to evolve before “Some Muslim representatives of
with the list of Francesco Rutelli, the
it’s possible for an Obama, the son of the Consulta wanted to transform it
centre-left Democrat Party nominee
an immigrant, can dream to lead the into a small parliament for Muslims in
for mayor of Rome.
country,” he said. Italy, losing sight of its main objective,
“The role of those elected to
Chaouki believes that the blame, in which is to open a direct dialogue with
institutions is to try and explain that
part, lies with the new Italian citizens. the Muslim community in Italy.”
being Muslim is not an identity per
“Certainly the antipathy that many “For some members of the Consulta,
se, but being a Muslim means being
Italians have towards politics in mosques are only places of hate and
a person who takes to his heart the
general is also present among the terrorism and not places of worship
problems of the country and of the city
new citizens,” he said. with institutional rights,” he said.
in which he lives and who is convinced
“But it is necessary for us to The candidate for Rome’s
that politics or the participation in
participate in political life, in the life of adminstrative elections was critical of
politics, is a commitment to the
political parties. The political forces, the Italian Islamic community, which
service for the common good,” said
on their part, must then give ample he said is “lacking in a democratice
space to issues such as immigration and liberal culture and is “incapable
“The presence of Italian Muslims in
and integration.” of managing a civil confrontation
institutions also serve make it normal
Chaouki, was a member of Italy’s between Muslims living in Italy.”
for Muslim citizens to participate in
Consulta Islamica, a government-
UK rice prices 70%
more than last year
The price of rice is rocketing, with the grain now costing on costs to consumers.
70% more than at this time last year. The price of basmati Curry nights are increasingly popular in pubs. Chicken
has been hit particularly hard — it now costs twice as tikka masala with rice regularly tops the polls in eating-out
much as in 2006. surveys and has been named the nation’s favourite dish.
The price rises are due to a combination of population Dean Snee, head of food at Orchid Group, which
growth and higher feed prices, drawn from increased operates 20 sites with Oriental-themed menus, said:
meat and dairy consumption in south-east Asia. “We’ve stopped using basmati at most of our sites, partly
Producers and importers are absorbing most of the rises, because it’s more of an Indian ingredient but also because
but the price increases will inevitably fi lter through it’s so expensive.”
to caterers, who will have to decide whether to pass
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