Italy's largest Muslim organisation, the Union of Islamic Communities of Italy (UCOII) has elected its first woman to a senior position. Italian convert Khadija Patrizia Del Monte, from the northern city of Reggio Emilia, was elected vice-president during the organisation's annual general assembly in Bologna on Sunday. Del Monte converted to Islam in 1990.

"It seems that the election of sister Khadija Patrizia Del Monte, an Italian woman, to the vice-presidency signals an important change, above all from a cultural point of view," Hamza Piccardo, told Adnkronos International (AKI). Piccardo runs the Italian Muslim website Islam.online.it..

The twenty-year-old Rome-based organisation was created to provide services to Muslims in predominately Catholic Italy.

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