The Greek Parliament passed an amendment on Tuesday that allows the construction of a mosque in Athens, last European capital of without mosque despite ottoman ruled around four centuries on Greece.
The long-awaited Muslims’ right to have a mosque, amendment passed despite the junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL)'s opposition. Even despite estimates putting the Athens Muslim population somewhere between 100,000 to 200,000, a significant portion of the country’s 400,000 Muslims.
The parliament of Greece met Tuesday to vote on the legal amendment proposed by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), the amendment was passed by the parliament with the support of opposition parties, the New Democracy and the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK).
Efforts and legal battle to build a mosque for began in earnest decades ago but only gained enough support to see the Greek parliament approve it in 2000, then again in 2006 and 2011. However, appeals and delays have prevented it from being built, much of it the result of protest by various groups, including political parties and prominent members of the Greek Church.
The financial crisis has made more difficult build a mosque. Previous year, the debate over the mosque turned ugly when several hundred people came out to protest its construction. The movement has been led by the Golden Dawn Party of Greece, which Greek media refer to as a neo-Nazi group.
The Proposed mosque is planned to be constructed in Votanikos area in Athens. Greece's capital Athens has not had a formal mosque since the Ottomans formally accepted Greek independence in 1832 and the country has been criticized by human rights groups such as Amnesty International for stopping Muslims to build their worship place.. Tags: #Muslim-minorities #
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