Imam of Florence in Italy boycotts cultural event over Israeli sponsorship

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SHAFAQNA – The Imam of Italy’s metropolitan city of Florence, Izzedin Elzir, afternoon Saturday declined an invitation, extended sometime earlier, to partake in a cultural event about Occupied Jerusalem after he found out about the involvement of the Israeli Embassy.

Florence’s Imam Izzedin Elzir said in a press statement: “I was surprised after I discovered that the Israeli embassy is among the parties sponsoring an event to be held in Florence on June 1, 2015 and to which I was invited.”

He said the projected event is set to screen a documentary movie entitled One Rock Three Religions.

“The Israeli embassy represents the hegemonic grip that has colonized Occupied Jerusalem by military force,” he said. “I cannot close the eyes to what has been going on in Jerusalem under the Israeli occupation.”

Elzir, who is also Head of The Union of Islamic Communities and Organizations of Italy, further stated: “I am sorry but I have to backtrack on my participation in an event officially sponsored by Israel, which stands in sharp contrast with my ethical commitments as regards human rights, religious freedoms, and the holy city of Jerusalem.”

He spoke out against Israel’s violations of international law in Occupied Jerusalem—the City of Peace—through the perpetration of a politics of chauvinism and discrimination, as many European and international reports have already warned.

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