The general assembly of the state council has rejected an appeal to prevent the construction of a mosque in the region of Votanikos as well as the financing of its construction by the Greek state. It approved a state funding of 1.1 million euros for the mosque’s construction on land belonging to the Hellenic Navy in Votanikos.
Greece’s highest administrative court ruled that the legislative framework for the construction of the mosque does not violate the principles of equality and freedom of expression of religious belief, but instead it protects the Muslims’ rights. According to the court, the construction of the mosque is necessary as Greece is engaged by the international treaties it has signed and by its Constitution that foresees the free exercise of religion.
Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus, the Cultural Association “Athena”, two officials of the Hellenic Navy and five residents of Votanikos had appealed against the construction of the mosque.
In July 2013, a bidding for the construction of the mosque was initiated causing the reaction of far-right groups like Golden Dawn, who have participated in a number of violent protests against the plans. Athens today is the only European capital without a mosque for its Muslim residents.