Manuela Barbato, 22, who was a former student studying at the L’Orientale University of Naples, has recently announced her reversion to Islam. She is the daughter of Francesco Barbato a former MP for the Italy of Values, a centre left, populist party and currently the mayor of city Compansano.
Her reversion to Islam came during her time at University where she found her Indian-Muslim Husband.
She moved to India with him and soon after announced on facebook her conversion to Islam, stating her new name is Aysha. She began to upload pictures of her wearing hijabs as well as writing a note on her Facebook wall reading "The hijab is my way, the way that Allah has chosen for me. I'm proud and defends the purity of my soul. It is the law of God, who am I to oppose?"
This has stirred controversy in Italy, the predominantly Catholic Country, her father has stepped out and told Italian newspaper, il Giornale "I live this conversion not bad but very bad, because it is a religion too harsh, too radical, too rigid. It is a fundamentalist religion. I saw for myself, my daughter lives with me. I see it every day. When the ‘hour of prayer, even does not care even for children. For that, I happened to be angry with her. If a baby cries, it means that he needs something, he needs mum. that’s fanaticism. This is the pain I feel for his choice of life".
These conflicting feelings between a revert and their family are struggles that most new Muslims have to deal with but for the daughter of a noted politician her problems are amplified.