The visit of the imam of Rome’s mosque to the city’s historic synagogue has been postponed to an undetermined date. Abdellah Redouane, secretary general of the Islamic Cultural Center of Italy, which is based at the mosque, told the Italian news agency ANSA that the visit was postponed “for organizational reasons.” Mario Scialoja, a leader in the Italian Muslim community, told ANSA that so many members of the community wanted to accompany the imam that a whole new plan for the visit was needed.
But ANSA also quoted sources inside and outside Rome’s Muslim community saying the visit was postponed because of new Israeli-Palestinian tensions in Gaza.
In a statement Rome’s Jewish community said it was disappointed the visit was postponed because it would have been a “historic encounter that could reinforce dialogue and not only in Italy.” The statement said, “Religions can and must make their contribution to social well being and coexistence,” particularly in fighting prejudice and racism. “The doors of our synagogue remain open to our Muslim friends,” the statement said.