di Marcello Mento
Rome, June 14 - A leading figure from the anti-immigrant Northern League on Friday condemned the furore surrounding a councillor from his party who said Italy's first black minister should be raped. On Thursday, Padua Councillor Dolores Valandro posted on Facebook that someone should rape Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge "so she knows what it feels like" in response to the report of an Italian woman who was allegedly raped by an African man. "The anti-League sentiments, prompted by that indefensible outburst on Facebook, belie an equally shameful motive...The pro-immigration hypocrites want to silence this taboo topic (of immigrant rapists) as much as possible," said League MEP Mauro Borghezio. "A civilized society mustn't forget the serious fact that sparked the case to begin with: the rape of a woman by a foreign immigrant". Borghezio and other members of the League, whose outspoken opposition to immigration and diversity are a major platform of the movement, have been quick to target Kyenge, a Congolese-born doctor, since her appointment in April. Soon after Borghezio claimed Kyenge would "impose her tribal traditions from the Congo" on Italy. He later apologized, but the EFD Eurosceptics group in the European Parliament kicked him out for his remarks nevertheless. Hours after the League councillor made her rape comments Thursday, League leaders said she would be expelled from the party and apologized to Kyenge.