Italians Face Off After Town Permits Burka

Immigrants win right to wear coverall, but ruling clashes with law
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2007 3:16 PM CDT
Two Afghan burqa-clad women of the health department wait outside a house to administer polio drops during a polio vaccination campaign in Lashkar Gah the provincial capital of Helmad Afghanistan, Thursday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Italy is in the midst of an ugly dispute over immigration and Islam following one town's decision to permit the wearing of the burka. The Guardian reports that the prefect of Treviso, near Venice, made the ruling despite laws forbidding the Islamic garment, which covers a woman's body from head to toe except for a mesh over the eyes.

Italy's minister for families offered cautious approval of the directive, after Treviso's prefect met with immigrants in his town. But PM Romano Prodi is on record as opposing the burka. The front page of yesterday's center-right Corriere della Serra featured a brutal editorial by an Egyptian-born editor, who called the decision the start of "the suicide of our civilization."