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Friday, November 15, 2013

Athens: Construction of Mosque Finally Begins

After thirteen years of delay, the Greek government announced on Thursday, that the construction of the first mosque in Athens will finally begin.

 
According to the The Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, a Greek consortium has been chosen. The five previous attempts of the state to find a company that would take on the construction project had failed.

The project will have to be completed within six months of contracts being signed.
The building of 600 square metres, will have a budget of 946,000 euros. The mosque will be built on former military property and it won’t have a minaret.

The construction of the mosque was cancelled several times. It was first announced in 2000, before the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens in, However the Greek Orthodox Church was opposed to the project.
Although this will be the first official mosque, there are many non-official places of worship in Athens, Greece due to the numerous Muslim immigrants. Their constantly increasing number makes the construction of a mosque necessary.

In 2011, the Greek government was forced to adopt a law that would ensure the construction of the mosque. However the project was delayed because of concerns over the location, and because of protests from right-wing extremists, such as members and supporters of Golden Dawn.
The only official mosque in Greece is in Komotini, a town in east Thrace where a minority group of Muslim Turks live.

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