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Filed under: News and photos — admin     2:52 pm May 24, 2011

In a desperate effort to win votes for his candidate, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has warned that Milan would turn into an “Islamic city” if his runner for mayor is defeated.

“Milan cannot turn into an Islamic city, a zingaropoli [Gypsytown] full of Roma camps, besieged by foreigners to whom the left wants to give the right to vote,” Berlusconi said on his People of Freedom party website cited by the BBC.

Milan mayor Letizia Moratti, Berlusconi’s candidate, came second to center-left candidate Giuliano Pisapia last week in the first round of elections for Milan mayor.

The second round is set for 29-30 May.

Moratti’s defeat has angered Berlusconi’s ally, the anti-immigration Northern League, which is notorious for anti-Muslim stances.

The Northern League is widely accused of racism with many critics calling it the BNP of Italy, a reference to the British right-wing party.

Its election campaign played on issues such as immigration, crime and economic and cultural fears from immigration.

Portraying itself as a defender of Italy’s Christian roots, it started its mission in the new government in May 2008 with bringing down a mosque in the northern city of Verona.

In 2008, the League rejoiced the success of its campaign to halt the building of a mosque in the northern city of Bologna.

The same year, League MP Mario Borghezio burst into a church in the northern city of Genoa shouting anti-Islam statements.

Italy has a Muslim population of some 1.2 million, including 20,000 reverts, according to unofficial estimates.

Record Low

Berlusconi warned that a victory of the left-wing candidate would spell chaos in his hometown.

“Milan is… one of the most important capitals in Europe in terms of intelligence, creativity and entrepreneurialism,” he said.

“A city like this will surely not want to hand itself over to the far left with the risk of becoming a disorderly, chaotic and unsafe city.”

Berlusconi’s approval ratings are at a record low as the embattled premier is facing several trials. He sees the race for Milan mayor as a referendum on his leadership.

Berlusconi rejected criticism that his overly-aggressive campaign was behind the vote loss in Milan.

“We have to vote because we don’t want to turn Milan over to an authoritarian left,” he said.

“We have to vote to defend our interests, our rights and our liberty.”

Source : Onislam

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