Go-ahead for Athens mosque sparks protest

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Go-ahead for Athens mosque sparks protest

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Greece’s ultra-nationalist National Front has demonstrated against the proposed building of Athens’ first state-funded mosque.

About 100 supporters marched on the site, former naval ministry offices, in a poor central Athens district.

“Firstly I am scared because many things have happened here in the area with the Muslims and secondly, why are they building it here and not in the rich neighbourhoods of Athens? Where they think we are racists and they are okay. Why don’t they build it there, so they can see what we live with here every day,” said local resident Smaragda Taladianou.

Athens is the only European capital not to have a mosque, and the city’s large Muslim population has to rely on some 120 makeshift places of prayer scattered in basements and garages.