Italian politician parades pig on mosque site

Italy’s former deputy education minister has provoked a scandal by parading a pig, an impure animal for Muslims, on the site of a planned mosque in the country’s north, news reports said Sunday.

“We have ‘blessed’ the ground that the Padua authorities want to transfer for the mosque,” said Mariella Mazzetto, a member of the populist right-wing Northern League party in the city. She walked the pig on a lead accompanied by about 10 party members, Italian daily newspapers reported.

“It’s a question of defending Italian identity,” said Mazzetto, who was deputy education minister in 1994-95 under the former right-wing government of Silvio Berlusconi.

AFP, 12 November 2007