Residents Protest Building of Mosque in Athens

October 14, 2003

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On October 14, 2003, The Christian Science Monitor ran an article on the controversy surrounding the proposal to build a mosque in Peania, a suburb of Athens [Greece], to serve the country's Muslim population and visitors during the 2004 Summer Olympics. The article highlighted the mayor of Peania's resistance to the plan: "[local mayor Paraskevas] Papacostopoulos has sought court injunctions to stop work after coming to office on an anti-mosque platform. He says the choice of location is arbitrary. 'There are no Muslims in Peania,' he argues. The mayor has attracted the support of the church, which has agreed to the principle of a mosque but won't agree to a location. 'Does the first image of Greece a foreigner sees [as he gets off a plane] have to be a Muslim mosque?' asks Greek Church spokesman Father Epifanios Economou." The article also mentioned that some Muslims are also unhappy with the location, which is two hours outside the city center where most Muslims live.