Abdel Hamid Shaari, director of Milan's most controversial Islamic cultural centre, says he will run for mayor in Milan's March 2011 municipal elections, making him the first Islamic candidate in a major Italian city. Shaari says his platform will be called New Milan and his list will be made up of both secular and religious candidates. ‘We hope to have the support of many Italians as well as residents who were born in different countries, like Morocco, Egypt, Senegal, Romania and Perù,' Shaari told the press. ‘Ours is a secular list, not a religious one,' he specified. Milan has a population of more than 208,000 immigrants, which make up 16 percent of the total population, according to a report released in September by the city.
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