The head of the Conservatives and Reformists caucus in the Senate, Anna Cinzia Bonfrisco, said Wednesday that the country could defeat extremism through "defending Muslim women from oppression and the violence of symbols like the burqa".

If Italy were to do so, she claimed, Muslim women "will be the ones to annihilate the radicalism that sows terror". Interior Minister Angelino Alfano had told Italian daily Corriere della Sera in an interview published Wednesday that the country would not be following in the footsteps of French cities that have banned the burkini, a full-body Islamic swimming garment, in order to avoid attracting attacks from Islamic extremists.

"Alfano is making a mistake," Bonfrisco said. "Absurd integration policies even at the cost of renouncing our Western culture is the reason why Europe has become a sieve."

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