On May 27th, for the second year, the Islamic centres and mosques of Turin opened up their doors and invited in all interested citizens.
“This initiative aims at contrasting stereotypes and prejudices – said at the press conference of the event Marco Alessandro Giusta, Deputy Mayor for Human Rights of the City of Turin – and strengthening the sense of community and belonging in the neighbourhoods”.
The celebration, included in 2016 “Pact for sharing” undersigned by the Municipality and 18 Islam centres right after the Bataclan terroristic attack, became part of the broader intercultural strategy of the City of Turin. The Guidelines for Interculture and Participation, approved by the City in March, emphasises the role of public cultural events as a way to make minorities more visible and their main celebrations as “celebrations for the whole city”.
In this sense, “Open Mosque” represents an important moment of dialogue and inclusion of all citizens.
This year, 14 Islamic culture and religious centres opened from 6 pm to 9 pm to all visitors. Volunteers from the mosques organised debates, presentations, cultural and leisure activities, answered questions about the Islam, the month of Ramadam, the meaning of the veil. Most importantly, Muslim people had the chance to show the place where the community prays and spends time to their neighbours, to their colleagues, to their schoolmates, to their friends. At 9 pm, the traditional braking of the fast (Iftar) was offered and shared with all guests.
The City not only participated with logistics, communication and materials, but also with its highest institutional ranks. Mayor Chiara Appendino visited 4 mosques together with Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia and Prefect Renato Saccone. Other deputy mayors, city councillors, representatives from other faith groups and presidents of neighbourhood districts also participated at this event, together with almost 4 thousand citizens from all origins, religions, and age.
Turin is a member of Città del Dialogo, the Italian Network of Intercultural Cities