Monday, November 29, 2010

Athens mosque plan faces new hurdles

November 28, 2010

A controversial bid to build a mosque in Athens has assumed new, more dramatic proportions amid threats by the far-right to stop its construction and a denial by the renowned Anglo-Iraqi architect, Zaha Hadid, that she is involved in its design.

Tensions have soared in the only EU capital where Muslims are still forced to pray in underground basement flats and garages in the absence of a proper place of worship.

Two weeks after a neo-fascist party won its first-ever seat on Athens council in local elections – highlighting growing Greek hostility over the country's rising immigrant population –opposition to the decades-old project has grown.