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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Traditionalists achieve Italian government support for halal food and products

An unusual initiative in Italy indicates the growing importance there of the CO.RE.IS (Comunità Religiosa Islamica, Islamic Religious Community) founded by the Traditionalist shaykh Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini and now increasingly run by his son, Imam Yahya Pallavicini.

The CO.RE.IS has put together a certification scheme, HalalItalia, in cooperation with the Milan Chamber of Commerce, that was launched on 30 June 2010 by the Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini–see photos here. The scheme is remarkable, in the current European climate of burka and minaret bans, for bringing about what is in effect the support of a European government for an aspect of sharia, backed by a commitment from leaders of industry.

How was this done? Fruit, presumably, of the Pallavicinis’ efforts over the years to present themselves and the CO.RE.IS as responsible and constructive partners for Italian institutions, as traditional rather than radical Muslims, as Italians rather than transnational. Fruit also of the brilliant idea of presenting the scheme as a way of improving Italian exports to the Muslim world, which no-one can object to, whatever one thinks on the heated issue of “integration” of Muslims in Europe.

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