Plan for Athens mosque on course despite objections

Plan for Athens mosque on course despite objections

A parliamentary committee Wednesday approved legislation paving the way for the construction of the capital’s first state-backed mosque thanks to the votes of PASOK as leftist SYRIZA’s junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) opposed the motion.

Citing objections based on its principles and the party’s established positions on the issue of a mosque in Athens, ANEL MPs voted down the Culture Ministry’s bill, as did the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn.

The House’s plenary is due to vote on the motion Thursday and is expected to approve it.

The site slated for the creation of the mosque is an old naval base in Votanikos, an industrial, run-down neighborhood west of central Athens.

The prayer venue – a 1,000-square meter building without a minaret, split over two levels – will be able to accommodate about 350 worshippers.

When it is finally completed, following years of delays, it will be the first official place of worship for Muslims in the Greek capital.

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