Italy Investigates Islamophobic Threats over Silvia Romano

Silvia Romano

Milan, MINA – Judges in Milan, northern Italy have opened an investigation into the case of the threat of Islamophobia that befell Silvia Romano.

Police have also stepped up patrols around his house.

Silvia Romano is 23 years old and works as a volunteer in an orphanage in the village of Chakama in southeast Kenya when arrested by gunmen in November 2018.

Reporting from AFP, Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte met with Romano in Rome on Sunday. Romano said that he had converted to Islam during the abduction of her own free will.

Quoted from the Anadolu Agency, Romano revealed: “I converted to Islam spontaneously and was not forced. In those months I was given Al-Quran and thanked my captors, I also learned Arabic,” she said.

“They explained their reasons and culture to me. My conversion process has been slow in the last few months. There is no marriage or relationship, only respect.” Italy’s deputy foreign minister acknowledged cooperation with Turkey during the rescue operation.

Romano received threats several times. Quoted from AFP, “People like her will be executed by the US countries that apply the death penalty,” one anonymous post on social media said.

“Have you ever heard of a Jew who, after being released from a concentration camp, then converted to Nazism and returned in an SS uniform?” wrote Simone Angelosante, a member of the regional council for the right-wing League party, referring to the issue of converting by Romano.

“Am I happy that Silvia Romano was released? Not at all. Now we will have one more Muslim and four million euros less,” writes Massimo Giorgetti, vice president of the northern Veneto region, according to the AGI news agency. Giorgetti then deleted the post on his Facebook page.

The four million euros he meant was a circulating issue that Romano was released by kidnappers after the Italian government reached into the state to pay for the abductees.

Italian media said that the government paid a ransom to free Romano. Five people including three children were shot and injured during the attack on the orphanage.

The Italian government has denied paying the ransom, but media reports say that between 1.5 and four million euros were paid by the government for the release.

The case has led to criticism that some Italian non-governmental organizations are not ready to deal with threats faced by workers in several countries, thus quoted from New York Times. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)