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ITALY, Venice: Venice’s first mosque was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by representatives of the Italian Islamic community and city institutions.

The opening of the mosque means the city – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tourist and artistic site – now has a dedicated place of worship for thousands of Muslims living in the area.

The building was purchased by the local community with the proceeds of zakat collected by Muslims from Venice and the nearby industrial port of Mestre.

“I hope that from now on, when tourists from all over the world visit Venice, they will leave not only with a postcard of the city but also of this mosque, the mosque of Venice,” said Yassine Lafram, president. of the Islamic community. of Bologna and the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy.

“We are proud of this site, because it is further proof of our integration.

Yassine Lafram, president of the Islamic community of Bologna, inaugurates the first mosque in Venice with the head of the Islamic community of Venice Sadmir Aliovsky and the Syrian imam Hammad Al-Mahamed. (Provided)

Roberto Berton and Nandino Capivilla attended the ceremony representing the Catholic Archdiocese, and were joined by several city councilors and local politicians.

“This mosque in Venice is now open to everyone thanks to the Italian constitution, which allows every citizen to pray to the God they want and where they want to do it,” Lafram added.

The president of Ucoii said that all Muslims living in Italy want to help “create a country where everyone is respected and works for the common good”.

Aliovsky said the new mosque was not intended to be “a closed place, open only to Muslims.”

He said: “This mosque, opened in a multicultural city visited by people from all over the world every day, will bring to life many activities where everyone is welcome. From now on, this place will be open to everyone, starting with local institutions.

“We are open to all projects, research and studies on Islamic culture and integration. Venice really deserves it.

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