Racist attacks fueling tensions

Amid growing reports of attacks against immigrants, a senior spokesman for the capital’s Muslim community said that racial tensions were intensifying. «The way things are going, they are going to kill an immigrant one of these days and dance around the body,» Naim El-Ghandour, president of the Muslim Union of Greece, was quoted as saying by the Athens News Agency. El-Ghandour was speaking following an attack on two Bangladeshis in the run-down district of Aghios Panteleimonas on Wednesday night. The migrants were set upon by a group of people as they emerged from an apartment that operates as a makeshift mosque. Their injuries were not believed to be serious. El-Ghandour earlier this week expressed relief that plans for an official mosque in Athens were moving forward. News that the stalled project was back on track emerged after thousands of migrants congregated in central Athens to mark the festival of Eid al-Adha. Yesterday hundreds of immigrants protested outside City Hall amid reports that a policeman had torn up a page of the Quran after arresting an Egyptian street vendor. The crowd dispersed after the vendor was released. Meanwhile, an Afghan man in Peristeri, western Athens, lodged charges against four local policemen, alleging that they beat him for two hours using iron bars and poles. The migrant claims to have been picked up by police following an argument with someone outside a supermarket. In Kissamos, western Crete, two Tunisian migrants claimed that four islanders beat them with the butts of their guns. One migrant had 24 stitches in his face following the attack.