A bridge called friendship

Press Meeting

Islam, terrorism, dialogue with Christians

Rimini, Friday August 24th – The journalist Giorgio Paolucci introduced the meeting with Valeria Khadija Collina. She is the mother of Youssef Zaghba, the terrorist who, with two other bombers, accomplished last year an attack on the London Bridge, being killed by the police. The title of the conference is A Bridge Called Friendship. Islam, Terrorism, Dialogue With Christians. The Area Cammini in B2 hall cannot contain the incredible number of people, wishing to meet a figure that perfectly personifies the encounter and collaboration among peoples, cultures, and religions.

Valeria briefly tells her story, starting from her youthful desire to experiment with different realities, to the meeting with her ex-husband who brought her closer to the Islamic faith. She told also about her return to Italy with her son, where later she learned about his death. «My son- said Valeria- renounced the search for beauty and happiness. He was so far from that Islam that fascinated me». Valeria has a great desire of beginning: «I do not want to live in an eternal grief. I want to react and transform this pain into an inexhaustible energy». She spoke also about the incredible nice relationship that born with the mother of one of the victims of the London Bridge attack.

The discussion is also about the connection between religion and violence. Religions, in fact, have often been accused of generating violence. However, reminds Valeria, the most brutal and total violence was originated from political, atheist and anti-religious ideologies like nazism, fascism or bolshevism. «I loved Islam for its fruits: before adhering to a doctrine I loved the hearts filled by faith with peace, mercy, tenderness, and light. This allowed me to face a tragedy that I must accept with humility; to hope in God’s mercy for my son, and to fight against an idea of Islam that offends the values of peace, hospitality, generosity, love for others, solicitude, and charity» said Valeria. The «good fruits of all religions».