EFD Senior Fellow, Valentina Colombo, appointed as Islam expert to Italian Islam Committee and PRISNET programme
09 March 2011
Valentina is a leading figure in her field and has previously taught Islamic Studies and Arab language and literature at Bologna University. She has published numerous works on Islam and female political participation in the Middle East and brings a wealth of specialist experience to both positions.
The Italian Islam Committee, currently comprised of 16 members, reports to Italy's Interior Ministry in a consultative function and provides proposals for improving both the social insertion and the inclusion of Muslim communities in Italian society. Specifically, the Committee tackles crucial issues such as Imam training, mixed marriages and the burka law. Valentina Colombo will join serving members of the Committee including Gamal Bouchaib, President of Moderate Muslims, Imam and Vice President of the Italian Islamic Religious Community, Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini and Italian journalist of Pakistani origin, Ejaz Ahmad.
The "PRISNET" Programme, funded by the European Commission, will deal primarily with radicalisation in the penitentiary systems of Europe and the Western Balkans. Based on a concept developed by a group of Italian scholars, the programme will combine academic research with practical suggestions, addressing the threat of radicalisation. Travelling to Bulgaria, Serbia and Kosovo, programme members will provide national Interior Ministry representatives with constructive proposals on how to prevent radicalisation in their prison systems.