Government officials in Greece believe that because of the recent terror attacks in Brussels, an official mosque needs to be built as soon as possible in Athens, or else the country will suffer a similar fate to Belgium from Islamic extremists.
“Every day that we do not have an official mosque and imam in Athens, we pay for in the increased risk of the radicalization of Muslims in the dark and unofficial places of worship,” an anonymous Greek official told local newspaper Kathimerini.
The government is worried about radical Muslims meeting in secret basements around the capital city. Even before the refugee crisis took off, the country approved the construction of a mosque using public funds back in 2006. Since then, construction has stalled because of appeals, the refugee crisis has exploded and the prospects of radicalization and terror are worse than ever.
The situation has put significant pressure on the Greek government to get that mosque finished, since the fear is that unless Muslims are brought into public places, radicalization in private will spiral out of control and result in terror activity.
“It is exactly because of the recent terrorist attacks that we have to move quickly to construct the mosque in Athens,” the Greek official told Kathimerini. “The state has to have an official interlocutor who represents the various branches of Islam. When you do not have official places of worship, who can you speak with?”
Greece has been thrown into turmoil over the past several years, suffering one financial crisis after another and being inundated with hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking to head to Europe. A new European Union plan, however, promises to provide some amount of relief to the beleaguered country. Migrants are now being deported via boat to Turkish soil, reports CNN. Turkey has agreed to accept around 500 migrants per day. According to the deal, migrants who find themselves in Greece illegally after March 20 will be deported back to Turkey.
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