THE NORWAY massacres unleashed a Europe-wide torrent of reports in the media about immigration and Islam. Back here in Greece, the government hurled itself into yet another debate over whether Athens’ Muslim immigrants should have their own official mosque.
While non-Orthodox churches and synagogues have been established in Athens, the city is the only capital in the EU-15 that still lacks an official site for Muslim congregational prayer. No mosque has officially operated in the capital since the Greek War of Independence ended Ottoman rule nearly 200 years ago.
Arab ambassadors have been calling on Greece to build a proper mosque in the capital for more than 30 years. This battle is now being fought by the city’s growing immigrant Muslim community.
The lack of an official mosque in Athens is an impediment to the integration of immigrant Muslims. Most mainstream politicians agree, including the prime minister. In December he said the right to a place of worship is “fundamental”.
A Mosque in Athens 2
Read the full “Move Islam Out of the Basement” at the Athens News