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    Categories: CultureMediaPolitics

BBC Asks Why No Mosque in Athens?

In a report, the BBC highlighted that Athens is the only European Union capital without a mosque and explored the tensions surrounding the quest by Muslims for a place of worship amidst much opposition from nationalists and ultra-religious groups.

In the report. some Muslim leaders underscored what they said was the vehement opposition from groups such as the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party that has 18 seats in Parliament and is rising fast in the polls at the same time there is growing racism and anti-immigrant sentiment directed against foreigners and other faiths.

The story included a brief history lesson explaining that after the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the creation of the first Greek state in 1832 no mosque has ever been built. Being Muslim had been identified with being Turkish, foreigner or even anti-Greek. The Muslim population of Greece, estimated as high as 300,000 complain the state won’t provide them a place of worship.

“It is a very big tragedy for us Muslims that there is no mosque here,” said Syed Mohammad Jamil from the Pakistan-Hellenic Society. A former military camp has been chosen to host the first mosque to be built at the expense of the government during a crushing economic crisis, which has fueled further resentment.

Reactions were positive and negative. Some Greek Orthodox Church leaders and Golden Dawn decry the idea of a mosque and said they see it as an attempt to alter country’s Christian identity.

They accuse immigrants of wanting to Islamize Europe. Government officials declare though that the project will go on, despite political pressure from the Church or other parties. Citizens are also divided as others see it as legitimate claim from Muslims to have an official place to worship while others see the dominant Christian religion as the only acceptable religion in the country.

Spyros Kouvoussis :

View Comments (430)

  • There should be no mosques in GREECE. There should be no mosques or synogogues anywhere in Europe.

  • Bratislava also has no mosque and probably some other EU capitals. The BBC have corrected "only" to "one of a few", which suggests that several people pointed out the errors. The title still uses the definite article though, and ends by suggesting Athens is standing alone, which is certainly not the case.

  • What is wrong with some of the fanatic Greeks here? Why are many of you coming up with the same lame excuse saying why should we have mosques if Saudi doesn't have churches. Ummm because Greece is secular, democratic state and Saudi is not... Why don't you compare it with another European state, doesn't that sound a little more convincing? Also the answer to why are Greek tax payers paying for the mosque, Turks have offered, Greeks have refused. End of the story..

    • 1 word: FEAR!

      This fake "Greex" will fall-out from their fake reality faster if there's religious, cultural, or any other freedom for the minorities that are the actual fake "Greex" now.

    •  First of all, if these mohammed looking midgets want a mosque they can always go back to their countries.  Turkey should stay out of our business.  They came to this country so they have to live by our rules.  If they want rights, go demand them in their own countries. 

      When in Rome.....

  • I am Greek and even hearing about mosque in Athens or any other place in Greece brings pain in my soul. Greece is Christian Orthodox Country 99.9%, we don't want not only mosque in our Country but muslims as well.

    • GEORGE WE DONT LIKE MUSLIMS IN GREECE SEE IN EGYPT SYRIA PAKISTANBURNING THE CHURCHES ...IN LONDON ATTACKING THE CHRISTIAN IN FRANCE ARE ATTACKING THE POLICEMEN ...IN AUSTRALIA THE SAME.....ALL THE GRREKS SHOULD PROTEST AGAINIST THE MOSUE .....WE DONT LIKE IMMIGRANTS MUSLIMS IN GREECE....

  • FAR AWAY FROM GREECE THE MOSQUES BECAUSE ARE USED FROM THE TERRORISTS, IN EGYPT THE ISLAMIC BROTHERHOOD BURNING THE COPTIC EGYPRTIAN CHURCHES ON 15-08-2013. IN GREECE WE DONT LIKE TO BRING IMMIGRANT MUSLIMS BECAUSE THEY ARE FIGHTING EACH OTHER SUNNA AND SHIA MUSLIMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND WUROPE EVEN IN AUSTRALIA A LOT OF PEOPLE COMPLAINING WHERE EVER THEY HAVE MOSUES ARE USED FROM THE TERRORIST FANATIC MUSLIMS.LOOK WHAT IS GOING ON IN EGYPT THE ISLAMISTS ARE BURNING CHURCHES THE SAME IN SYRIA......
    WE DONT LIKE THE SAME TROUBLES AND WE DONT NEED MUSLIMS IN GREECE......IN FRANCE ARE ATTACKING THE POLICE....

  • GREECE WE LIKE PEACE WE DONT LIKE MOSQUE BECAUSE THE MUSLIMS ARE FIHTING EACH OTHER......THIS RELIGION IS NOT PEACEFUL THEY ARE TEACHING THEM JIHAD AGAINIST THE NON MUSLIMS....

  • because they contribute nothing and will get money from the Saudis and Qatar - kick them out of the country Greece - that would be your best move....

  • There's 120 mosques in Athens only. Of what the heck this BBC report is writing? The lack of the minarets doesn't mean they are not there.

  • Greece is for Greeks! Turks already stole Constantinople and parts of Cyprus, they MUslims have done enough. It no surprise Greeks don't wants Mosques.