Italy: Politicians, religious figures join iftar in Brescia


Rome: Politicians from Italian center-right parties attended with hundreds of people an iftar in Brescia over the weekend.

The iftar was held at the Holiest Body of Christ, one of the oldest churches in the city. Catholics joined Muslims for a communal prayer that was attended by Brescia Mayor Emilio Del Bono and Catholic priests.

Also in attendance were members and councillors from Forza Italia, Brothers of Italy and the Northern League, a party that is known for its strongly anti-immigrant positions.

“We’re really delighted with the great participation in an initiative that we’d like to become a tradition for this city,” said Driss Enniya, spokesman for the Islamic communities in Brescia.

“After two difficult years we all desire to be together, to celebrate and dialogue … We’re convinced that together we can do a lot and we can work to build a more beautiful and stronger country.”

Brescia was one of the cities hardest hit by the first outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy in 2020. Nearly 20,000 Muslims live in this industrial city; they are mostly employed in factories.

“We’re all here to build bridges, tear walls down, and live in brotherhood and conviviality without fear,” said Del Bono.

“This event, with its happiness and enthusiasm, is the best sign of the important path of dialogue that our city has undertaken for some time, with everyone opening their doors to other communities so that everyone can feel at home and in harmony.”

Roberto Ferranti, the priest in charge of interreligious dialogue at the Diocese of Brescia, said: “In this wonderful moment, we’re finally so blessed to be able to celebrate a moment for sharing humanity, in the union of our faiths and our spirituality.”