Greek Government Fear They Will Be at Risk of Terrorist Attack If a Proposed Mosque Is Not Built in Athens
Corey Charlton, Daily Mail, April 6, 2016
The Greek government fears it could be subjected to terror attacks if a taxpayer-funded mosque is not constructed in Athens.
Officials claim it would allow Muslims to practise their religion under the auspices of a centrally-appointed imam that would ensure it does not stray into extremism.
This would be preferable to the dozens of basements in the capital which have been converted into makeshift mosques by Muslim migrants, they added.
According to Kathimerini, an official from the Education and Religious Affairs Ministry said they must move quickly to build the mosque, which had been announced in 2006 but is being delayed by appeals.
The official said: ‘It is exactly because of the recent terrorist attacks that we have to move quickly to construct the mosque in Athens.
‘Every day that we do not have an official mosque and imam in Athens, we pay for in the increased risk of the radicalisation of Muslims in the dark and unofficial places of worship.
‘When you do not have official places of worship, who can you speak with?’
In the past few years, Greece has found itself at the epicentre of Europe’s biggest migrant crisis since the Second World War.
Hundreds of thousands have using the country as a staging point on their journey from the Middle East via Turkey and towards the Balkan states.
The official’s warning comes as the EU’s border agency, Frontex, yesterday said potential terrorists are taking advantage of Europe’s failing EU border checks.
Frontex said a large number of people arriving mainly in Greece and Italy with false documents are not facing thorough checks or penalties.
It said the Paris attacks last November–in which several terrorists were found to have entered Europe via Greece with false ID papers–demonstrate irregular migration patterns could be used by terrorists to reach the EU.
It also revealed more than 1.8 million illegal border crossings were detected by EU member states in 2015, six times the number reported in 2014.
The agency said the never-seen-before figure is still linked to the estimated one million individuals who reached the EU, suggesting many crossed two sections of the external borders of the EU.
The report, Risk Analysis for 2016, said: ‘The Paris attacks in November 2015 clearly demonstrated that irregular migratory flows could be used by terrorists to enter the EU.
‘Two of the terrorists involved in the attacks had previously irregularly entered through Leros and had been registered by the Greek authorities. They presented fraudulent Syrian documents to speed up their registration process.
‘As the vast majority of migrants arrive undocumented, screening activities are essential to properly verify their declaration of nationality.’