Chief Rabbi of Rome Visits Mosque

March 13, 2006

Source: Haaretz

Wire Service: AP

On March 13, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "Rome's chief rabbi visited the main mosque in the Italian capital Monday - the city's first chief rabbi ever to do so in a move to increase dialogue between religions and offer the Jewish community's support to Muslims in Italy.

Riccardo Di Segni was met by Abdellah Redouane, secretary-general of the Islamic Cultural Center of Italy, and Mario Scialoja, the president of the Muslim World League in Italy, who gave him a tour of the mosque, which is the largest in Western Europe.

'This is a great occasion that should be repeated wherever different religions are coexisting so that we can get to know each other and experience dialogue,' Di Segni said, shortly after entering the mosque.

Di Segni's visit follows the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in Italian and other newspapers worldwide that touched off violent protests in which dozens of people died in Muslim countries. Islam widely holds that representations of Mohammed are banned for fear they could lead to idolatry.

'We are not surprised that such a gesture of solidarity comes from the Jewish community, who has been dealt so many blows,' Redouane said."