Plans to Build Mosque North of Athens Cause Controversy

July 29, 2003

Source: BBC News

On July 29, 2003 the BBC News reported that "if the Greek Government has its way, [Peania, a small town north of Athens, the capital] will become the focus for tens of thousands of Muslims living in the capital with the construction of the first proper mosque in the Athens area for almost 200 years.

The Foreign Ministry is pushing hard for a large mosque and Islamic cultural centre to be built before the Olympics get under way in just over a year's time...The town council has rejected the plan and mayor Paraskevas Papakostopoulos has appealed to the courts to block the building of the mosque, arguing it is illegal to use the land for construction...But ironically even the Muslims themselves are opposed to the mosque being built in Peania.

The town is 20 kilometres from the centre of Athens and most say they will not be able to go there for their daily prayers as it is simply too far away."