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Bill de Blasio hosts Muslims to a closed press Ramadan Iftar dinner

Bill de Blasio at a ceremony on Monday, June 30th
Bill de Blasio at a ceremony on Monday, June 30th
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Bill de Blasio, the Democrat mayor of New York City is hosting Islam faithfuls to a closed press Ramadan Iftar dinner tonight at the Gracie Mansion, his official residence.

According to the mayor’s press office, the scheduled dinner was listed in error as open press in his schedule last night.

Phil Walzak, de Blasio’s spokesman said, “Tonight’s event is closed press because it’s a sit-down dinner and there is also a praying portion. Last year and the year before this event was a closed press – it historically has always been closed.”

A similar event in 2010 by Michael Bloomberg, de Blasio’s predecessor was open press where reporters were allowed to record and take pictures at the occasion.

Expected guests at the religious dinner comprise of Muslim leaders who are observing the fasting period, including administration officials, elected officials and community leaders. List of about 150 invited diners was unavailable as at the time of writing this report.

Analysts believe that the high tension in the Middle East where investigation is on-going on the death of a Palestinian teenager, seen by many as retaliatory following the killing of three Israeli teenagers may be a major topic for discussion.

In January, during a closed press appearance, de Blasio reportedly told a pro-Israeli organization that, “Part of my job description is to be a defender of Israel.”

Time for the dinner: 8:45 p.m.

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