Secretary-general of the CO.RE.IS. Italiana
Ilhamallah Chiara Ferrero was born in 1974 in Turin, Italy. She has written numerous essays, which have been published in various national and international reviews. Ferrero is secretary-general of CO.RE.IS. Italiana (Italian Islamic Religious Community), an organization established by numerous Italian Muslim intellectuals. It is the only Islamic association in Italy to have a woman on its governing board. Ferrero became a Muslim in 1996 as the result of a spiritual quest that led her to investigate the Islamic religion and its contemplative aspects. Over the last ten years she has tended to focus her activities, including conferences, meetings, and seminars, on providing Westerners with a better understanding of Muslim women in order to dispel prejudices and fears. She has visited various Islamic countries, including Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, in order to observe the role of Muslim women in society. In May 2004, her essay entitled "Knowing Muslim Women", was published in Yahya Pallavicini's book, "Islam in Europe: The Reflections of an Italian Imam (Il Saggiatore, Milan). In her essay, Ferrero addresses some of the most difficult questions regarding the relationship between Muslim women and Western culture. In October 2005, at the World Competition for Islamic Studies, Yahya Pallavicini was awarded a prize for the book by the President of the Republic of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The book was described as an 'example of open-mindedness, moderation and renewal of Islamic thought'. Ferrero usually participates in public debates on television and newspapers stressing the universal values of Islamic civilization, thus representing the religious interests of Muslims in Italy, Europe and around the globe.