Via the Winnipeg Free Press
The Greek government is condemning anti-Islamic comments by a senior Orthodox Church official, following protests from the country’s Muslim community.
Government spokesman George Petalotis says the remarks by Serapheim, bishop of Piraeus, “foment racial and religious hatred.”
Commenting on the New Year’s Day bombing of a congregation in Alexandria, Egypt, the bishop described Islam as “a catastrophic worship” that’s incompatible with Greece’s constitution.
Serapheim urged the government to scrap the planned construction of a mosque in Athens for the city’s growing Muslim population.
Petalotis said Tuesday the government condemns such remarks “and rejects the mentality they express.”
The Muslim Union of Greece had responded to the rant with this statement:
We must protect our society from interchanges that undermine its foundations. We as Muslims are always open to interfaith dialogue… so as to make loud and clear to everyone what the great faith of Islam stands for,” the union said in a press release. It was responding to a statement written by the bishop last week, describing the attack in the Egyptian port of Alexandria as “a gruesome crime… by the Islamists [which] reveals clearly the truth that has been deviously hidden under the pacifist preaching of so-called interreligious dialogues.” Seraphim also calls for the revocation of a law allowing the construction of a mosque in Athens, describing it as a “religious aberration [that] would act as dynamite for social cohesion and peace as the main objective of this false religion is its prevalence through violence