6 Feb : In view of reportedly alarming growth of xenophobia climate in Italy, Hindus and Jews have asked for immediate intervention of European Union for improving the Italian human rights situation.
Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu statesman, and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a statement in Nevada, said that Italy’s reported failure to protect its immigrants, minorities, and Roma populations was very upsetting, shocking and worrisome for the world and it needed to be addressed urgently.
Zed and Rabbi Freirich stressed that Italy should also create an effective Ombudsman for protection and promotion of human rights in order to halt its increasing isolation from the rest of Europe. Life of people who were perceived "different" was not of much worth in Italy these days.
Reportedly rising social tensions, racial strains and prejudice, hostility and anti-immigrant and anti-Roma backlash, creeping xenophobia, racially motivated attacks, officials promoting xenophobia, setting on fire of an Indian immigrant, discriminatory fingerprinting of Roma, lobbed Molotov cocktails at a Roma encampment, beating up of the son of an Angolan diplomat, murder of a young man from Burkina Faso, killing of six African immigrants, beating up of Albanians and Romanians, etc., indicated plaguing of the Italian fabric; these religious leaders pointed out
Rajan Zed and Rabbi Jonathan Freirich urged politicians not to link Italy’s economic and social woes and rising crime to these marginalized groups and making them a scapegoat. Despite their longstanding presence in Italy, Roma were still an underclass in Italian society and it was still rare to find immigrants in white-collar jobs. With the changing times, Italy needed to become more open and pluralistic at par with other European countries and culture of exclusion, intolerance and rejection should go.
They thanked the president, trade unions, voluntary sector, church, etc.; who spoke in defense of human rights of these marginalized groups. Council of Europe has already lambasted Italy for xenophobic environment and maltreatment of Roma population.
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that Italian government, political parties, and religious bodies should openly and clearly condemn xenophobia against these marginalized groups because they had a commitment to protect them.