Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018

Islam centre head thanks Pope Francis for outreach


Milan, July 8 - An Islamic centre in northern Italy
thanked Pope Francis Monday for his efforts to reach out to
immigrants, including Muslims, who risk their lives at sea to
reach Italy.
The message, from Abdel Hamid Shaari, president of the
Islamic Cultural Centre in Milan, came as Pope Francis saluted
Muslim immigrants during a visit to the southern Italian island
of Lampedusa, a stepping stone to Europe.
The pope chose Lampedusa, closer to Africa than Italy, as
his first trip as pontiff to focus attention on the many asylum
seekers who die trying to cross the Mediterranean.
"To the dear, Muslim immigrants who today, this evening,
are beginning the fast of Ramadan, with wishes for abundant
spiritual fruit," Pope Francis said.
"The Church is close to you in the search for a more
dignified life for you and your families," the pope added.
Shaari said it was "a good thing" that the pope spoke in
Lampedusa to draw attention to the plight of migrants while at
the same time encouraging dialogue between faiths.
"We thank (Pope Francis) and say that we are part of any
dialogue and religious encounter," said Shaari.

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