Muslim Migrants Riot in Athens
The Age (Melbourne), May 24, 2009
Dozens of cars have been smashed, 14 people injured and 46 arrested in riots by Muslim migrants over the alleged defacing of a Koran by a policeman.
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades at hundreds of protesters outside Parliament in the city centre.
Police said they would investigate the allegation that an officer tore up an Iraqi migrant’s Koran while checking his identity papers in Athens last week. “But this isolated incident cannot justify these acts of violence,” said Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis.
Waves of illegal immigration in recent years have led to an influx of Muslims, mostly from Pakistan and Afghanistan, living in run-down parts of central Athens. Greek rights activist Thanassis Kourkoulas said the protest showed the migrants “have a voice”.