In action

2 / March / 2016

Fighting Radicalism in Italy by Giving all Minorities the Same Rights

Born in Casablanca and raised in Italy, Khalid Chaouki is a Member of the Italian Parliament. A leading political leader […]

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Born in Casablanca and raised in Italy, Khalid Chaouki is a Member of the Italian Parliament. A leading political leader focusing on policies related to the management of migration flows, and social inclusion and integration practices.

Club de Madrid Members and experts developed 10 benchmarks, under the Global Consensus framework, as a comprehensive response to violent extremism. Under the first benchmark all leaders are urged “to have a genuine commitment to open and accountable government, and respecting the rights of minorities.” Khalid Chaouki is an example.

He works to foster the social integration of Muslims in Italy in particular and Europe as a whole. He was part of the consultation on Islam set up at the Interior Ministry and was responsible for Second generations of Young Democrats, the youth wing of the Italian Democratic Party (DP).

Chaouki is also president of the Cultural Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, an international organization that aims to foster relations between the European Union and countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, strengthening democracy, women’s rights and the role of parliaments and civil society. He is one of the co-founders of the Italian Youth Muslim Organization.

He has been very committed and active in the recent reform proposal of the Italian citizenship law. Italian citizenship law is mainly based on the principle of Ius sanguinis; acquiring citizenship through bloodlines rather than by place of birth. That means that children born in Italy to foreign parents could apply for citizenship at the age of 18 if they had lived in the continuously lived in the country all their life. The reform allows for children born to foreign parents to become citizens earlier and more easily if at least one parent has a European Union permit for long-term residents.

MP Khalid Chaouki says “it’s very important to fight radicalism [by] giving all the youth the same rights, to fight discrimination in citizenship law, [to grant] job possibilities to integrate them in the market, and to [have the] same possibilities to explain their opinions in public media.

Chaouki believes that the representation in the media and public opinion of the experiences of Muslim in Europe is a key debate point. After the Paris attacks, he promoted the #NotInMyName campaign in Rome to give voice to the local Muslim community. He believes dialogue and equal opportunities are long-term solutions for violent extremism.

“We have to fight ideas with other ideas,” he says.

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