About two hundred years ago, Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire and there were thousands of Muslims who lived in Athens. Fast forward two hundred years and it is 2009 and there are 120,000 Muslims in Athens, but not a single mosque in which people pray is legal under Greek laws. A Greek couple who rented their basement to some Muslims are being fined because the tenants converted the area into a mosque in which people can pray. Several thousand Pakistanis are fighting the closing of the mosque because it is the only one available for them to pray. Lawyers argue that one must secure permission to use an area as a mosque for prayer, but city authorities will not grant any such permission.
Neighbors complained about the mosque which they disliked because it led to the gathering of large crowds of people anxious to get into the small area. For years, many bodies and the European Union have complained about the absence of a legal mosque for Muslims, but for some strange reason city authorities just can’t get around to granting legal permission to pray.
Posted in Christianity, Finland, Greece, Human Rights, Islam, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, Religion, World News
Tagged Athens, greek muslims, mosques
Europe has an ancient heritage of Christianity being involved in government so it is not surprising that many nations still use religious centered oaths in order to swear in officials. Archbishop leronymos, head of the Church of Greece made an unusual suggestion by arguing that the taking of religious oaths by politicians should be abolished. There was some negative reaction to his suggestion, but it is still unclear whether he meant all oaths taken by government officials or some oaths. Several bishops while supporting the idea of abolishing oaths in assuming a position in government also noted if a person can not swear on the Bible to uphold the Constitution, then that individual is not someone to be trusted.
In days gone by, most Europeans were Christians, but these days, Europe includes peoples of very diverse backgrounds and religions. It is time to end the use of a religious oath and allow those who do not feel comfortable taking such a position due to their own religion, the right to just take office and promise to obey the Constitution.