Prominent Italian Muslim convert to Islam, Hamza Piccardo, says his 25-year old son was forced to withdraw as a conservative candidate for the upcoming June elections, because of his religion. “My son has been discriminated against because he is a Muslim,” said Hamza, about his son Gabriele Piccardo. He added: “Setting aside the affection I have for my son, what has happened is the result of very serious discrimination against an Italian citizen, which has an entirely religious character.” Hamza, the former secretary of Italy’s largest Muslim group the UCOII, said his don was due to run as a candidate for the conservative People of Freedom party, and wanted to contribute to Imperia’s development. He argues that his son’s campaign made no references or allegiances to mosques or the Muslim community, but the anti-immigrant Northern League was responsible for Gabriele’s demise as a candidate. Italy’s Northern League party is know as having strong anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments, but specifics about how the league may be connected to Gabriele Piccardo’s political hopes are not known at this time.

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