Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 10:24:56 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Rising racism taints Italian electoral campaign

photo by

The head of the immigration office at the Verona diocese, Giuseppe Mirandola, talks with the Associated Press in Verona, Italy. Racist and anti-Semitic expressions have been growing more bold, widespread and violent in Italy.

By
10th-Feb-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

AP, Verona, Italy :
 When hundreds of hardcore fans of Italy's Hellas Verona Seria A soccer club chanted "Adolf Hitler is my friend" and sang that their team embraced the swastika, at a festive gathering in the summer, Italian Jewish communities complained - and waited.
Local officials initially dismissed the video as a "prank," and condemnation only came several months later, after another video from the same event, profaning Christian objects, also began circulating on social media.
"These episodes should absolutely not be dismissed," said Bruno Carmi, the head of Verona's tiny Jewish community of about 100, speaking in an interview at the Verona synagogue, which is flanked by two armed police patrols. "In my opinion, whoever draws a simple swastika on the wall knows what it means. And we know very well where that swastika brought us."
Racist and anti-Semitic expressions have been growing more bold, widespread and violent in Italy. Anti-migrant rhetoric is playing an unprecedented role in shaping the campaign for the March 4 national elections, which many says is worsening tensions and even encouraging violence.
Hate crimes motivated by racial or religious bias in Italy rose more than 10-fold, from 71 incidents in 2012 to 803 in 2016, according to police statistics. The five-year period corresponded with an explosion in migrant arrivals.
On Saturday, a right-wing extremist shot and wounded six African immigrants in the small central Italian city of Macerata. Police say the suspect claims to have been acting out of revenge after a Nigerian immigrant was accused of dismembering an 18-year-old teen whose remains were found three days earlier. The shooting drew widespread, but not universal, condemnation.
The attack also had a political taint. The alleged gunman, Luca Traini, was a failed candidate for the right-wing, anti-migrant Northern League last year and had previously flirted with more extreme neo-fascist movements. Police seized Nazi and white supremacist propaganda from his bedroom.
The night before the shooting, Northern League leader Matteo Salvini had cited the teen's murder in a campaign appearance in Verona, pledging to send home 150,000 migrants if elected.
He only dug in further after the attack.
Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who is competing with Salvini for leadership of the center-right coalition, significantly upped the political ante after the shooting. He claimed that 600,000 migrants were in Italy illegally, calling them "a social bomb ready to explode because they are ready to commit crimes," and threatened to deport many.
"The facts of Macerata in some ways show that in recent years there has been a process of cultural, social and political legitimization of racism that is creating enormous damage, most of all at the expense of people's lives," said Grazia Naletto, president of Lunaria, a Rome-based non-governmental agency that compiles a database of racist incidents in Italy.
Lunaria counts 84 cases of racist violence against individuals in the last three years, including 11 racially motivated murders, a statistic that Naletto called unprecedented in Italy.
A report on hate for the Italian parliament last summer reported that 40 percent of Italians believe other religions pose a threat, especially the Muslim faith. It also said anti-Semitism is shared by one in five Italians. The IPSOS MORI polling company found that Italy is the least informed country in the world regarding immigration, with most people overestimating by more than three times the number of immigrants living in Italy.
Findings by the swg research institute based in Trieste published in January said the demographic most vulnerable to neo-Nazi ideals are those aged 25-34, and that among Italians overall, 55 percent of those in the lowest income range either indulge in or oppose combating neo-Nazi and neo-fascist ideals.
Experts cite many reasons for the spread of extremism and racist expressions that until recently were mostly relegated to the margins of society. They include a superficial understanding of history, as well as an economy weakened by a long crisis that sidelined many ordinary workers and barred many young people from entering the work force.
More recently, there is the added pressure of migrants arriving from across the Mediterranean, with arrivals nearing 120,000 last year and topping 180,000 the year before.
The head of the immigration office at the Verona diocese concedes that many Italians have not accepted that theirs has become a multicultural society, despite the fact that about 9 percent of the nation's residents are foreigners. The diocese where he works hosts 11 foreign Christian communities, but resistance to integration is entrenched, he said.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Eid Mubarak


THE rituals of the annual congregation of Muslims in the holiest city Mecca to perform the religious obligatory have begun with devotion, piety, and cheer that ended into Eid-ul-Azha. The Eid comes to the life of 1.5 billion adherents of Islam when a majority of the followers are undergoing political ...

Sports »

Djokovic wins Cincy title to complete Masters matched set


AFP, Cincinnati :Novak Djokovic ended a career-long jinx, lifting the trophy in Cincinnati at last to complete a matched set of Masters 1000 titles.Djokovic, who came up empty in five prior Cincinnati finals, defeated seven-time winner Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the final.The former world number one became the first ...

Entertainment »

Rawnak and Urmila in play ‘Boro Bol Chhoto Bol’ on Channel i at 7:50pm before Eid day


.

City »

Law enforcers seen to cheque documents of the motorized vehicles to ensure safe road. The snap was taken from in front of the city's Rajdhani Super Market on Monday.


.

International »

Indians begin massive cleanup as rains diminish in Kerala


Reuters, Kochi :Indian health authorities prepared defenses against the spread of disease in flood-hit Kerala state on Monday as water receded and a huge clean-up gathered pace after the worst floods in a century killed more than 200 people.Incessant rain since Aug. 8 in the southern state has swelled rivers ...

Editorial »

Growing violence in hills: No serious investigation into the killings


Seven people, including three leaders of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), were killed and six others injured in two gun attacks in Khagrachhari town on Saturday. With these, 33 people have so far been killed in violence in Rangamati and Khagrachhari this year. The UPDF alleged that it was a ...

Football »

Messi, Coutinho get Barcelona off to winning start


AFP, Madrid :Two goals from Lionel Messi either side of a Philippe Coutinho strike allowed Barcelona to start their defence of the Spanish title with a 3-0 win over Alaves at the Camp Nou on Saturday night.Wearing the captain's armband following the departure of Andres Iniesta to Japan, Messi stepped ...

Entertainment »

I like to do something that challenges me: Jennifer Winget


Bepannaah actress Jennifer Winget likes to challenge herself with each of her projects. “I like to do something that challenges me. I like to do something different from my previous characters,” Jennifer told IANS. “I have been fortunate enough to be offered characters and projects that challenge me and that ...

City »

Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon speaking at a gathering of cleaners on quick disposal of wastes of sacrificial animals yesterday.


.

International »

Russian President Putin steals the show at Austrian FM`s wedding


Reuters, Vienna :Russian President Vladimir Putin danced arm-in-arm with Austria's foreign minister Karin Kneissl at her wedding on Saturday, after receiving an invitation that opposition critics said undermined the West's stance against Moscow.Mr Putin arrived in a car carrying a bouquet of flowers and accompanied, local media said, by a ...

Editorial »

Sanctions by USA and European Union are welcome but more effective measures will be needed


IN the latest development, the US Treasury on Friday slapped sanctions on four Myanmar military and police commanders and two army units for involvement in "ethnic cleansing" and other human rights abuses against the country's Rohingya minority. In response to Myanmar's crackdown on the Rohingyas, the sanctions are so far ...

Sports »

Bolt arrives in Australia on football quest


Usain Bolt says he's deadly serious about becoming a professional footballer and plans to show the world what he's capable of after arriving in Australia Saturday for a trial stint with an A-League club.The superstar athlete has been given the chance to prove his worth by the Central Coast Mariners, ...

Entertainment »

Sonali Bendre`s son posts an emotional message


Family and close friends of Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre have come out as the biggest support in her journey of fighting cancer. The actress who has been diagnosed with high-grade cancer is undergoing her treatment in New York. Being a true fighter, Sonali has not shied away from sharing her ...

Entertainment »

Poet Shamsur Rahman's 12th death anniversary observed


Entertainment Desk : The 12th death anniversary of Shamsur Rahman, one of the major poets in modern Bengali literature, was observed on Friday in a befitting manner.Marking the anniversary, different socio-cultural organisations placed wreaths at the grave of the poet at Banani graveyard and arranged Doa Mahfil.Jatiya Kabita Parishad and Kabi ...

City »

BNP Vice-Chairman Advocate Khondkar Mahbub Hossain speaking at a discussion on 'Next National Election Under Interrogation Without Reform of Election Commission' organised by 'Chetona Bangladesh' at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news