EU: state of the union; no French ministers due to Islamist

Boycott due to the presence of scholar Tariq Ramadan

08 May, 13:45

    (ANSAmed) - FLORENCE, MAY 8 - Italy's Minister for Integration Cecile Kyenge will attend the international conference 'The State of the Union' organized on Thursday by the European University Institute in Florence while French Ministers Manuel Valls and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem will not be at the gathering focusing on immigration and European citizenship, the institute's communications director Stephan Albrechtskirchinger confirmed. French daily Le Monde reported that the two French ministers will not be attending the conference because Swiss academic and writer Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hassan al-Banna, will be there. Ramadan advocates the re-interpretation of Islamic texts. Albrechtskirchinger said he was sorry the two ministers would not attend the conference and confirmed to Le Monde the relevance of the academic's choice recalling the importance of freedom of expression and independence of research.

    'We are very lucky as we can replace the two French ministers with Italian Minister Cecile Kyenge who has confirmed she is available', he said today. (ANSAmed)
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