Sunday, January 28, 2007

Italian Woman With Burka

10/2004 ITALY, Drezzo, a small town near the Swiss border; Sabrina Veroni is fined 80 euros for appearing in public wearing a burka.

An Italian woman who converted to Islam nine years ago and took to veiling her face after performing the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, received two fines from the authorities in the village where she has lived all her life.

There are ten other Muslims in the village, but Sabrina is the only one who wears the veil. The Mayor of Drezzo has strong views on such practices. He has found support from a member of the xenophobic and separatist Northern League, Cristian Tolettini, who found two laws on the books to help stamp them out: one was passed under Mussolini’s fascist rule in 1931, banning the wearing of masks in public; and another dating from 1975, at the height of the Red Brigades scare, forbids the wearing of items that disguise a person’s identity. The Mayor has instructed local police to enforce these laws.

Through her lawyer, Varroni said: “I have been wearing the veil for years, I am Italian, raised in Drezzo, and I have never done any harm to anyone. Why are they so furious with me?”
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