Athens Muslims Fear Mosque Delay After Hagia Sophia Conversion

Source: International Business Times

By Marina Rafenberg

After Turkey turned Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia museum back to a mosque, Muslims in Athens fear their own official place of worship, delayed for over a decade, will be held back again.

The project to open a state-sanctioned mosque in Athens, the only European capital that does not have one, was launched in 2007.

But it immediately ran into strong opposition from the influential Orthodox Church, as well as from nationalist groups.

“I think after this incident, it might be even more difficult to open the official mosque that we have awaited for ten years,” says Imam Atta-ul Naseer, who runs a makeshift mosque in a central Athens apartment.

An architectural marvel of the 6th century, the Hagia Sophia Byzantine basilica was converted into a mosque in 1453 after the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans.

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5 replies

  1. Greece’s opposition to turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque is a bit hypocritical, considering that Athen is the only European city still without a functioning mosque. Anyway, we all know that their opposition is not due to Haga Sophia but due to the gas in the Mediterranean, which they do not want to share.

  2. Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him granted Coptic Christians of Egypt the right to live their lives according to their belief. In fact he wrote an agreement to underwrite his protection for them for all times to come. In the Holy Quran Allah calls the Prophet as mercy for the entire mankind. Now we have invented a new Islam. In the name of the Prophet peace be upon him, Muslims are killing people. Instead of fighting with others it is time to look upon ourselves. What Turkey has done is wrong and we should expect some blow back.

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