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The first mosque in Athens opens in nearly 200 years.

The mosque opened for Friday’s prayers, got a mixed response from Athens-residing Muslims.  

Key points:

1. Government opens the first-ever mosque in the Christian orthodox city of Athens.

2. Plans to build a mosque in Athens, date back to the 1890s but have faced resistance from the Christian Orthodox majority.

3. Mosque in Athens criticized by staunch Muslims, for its average appearance.

First government-funded mosque opens in Athens:

On Friday, the primary government-funded mosque in Athens since 1833 opened its doorways to worshippers, after years of delays because of pink tape, cutbacks, and competition from spiritual and political factions. Hundreds of hundreds of Muslims from international locations such as Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh stay in Athens however the metropolis has now no longer had a proper mosque because it compelled occupying Ottomans to go away almost two hundred years ago.

Mosque opens in Athens after years of planning and resilience from the Christian orthodox population:

Plans to construct a mosque in Athens started in 1890 however it took many years for them to materialize because of competition from a predominantly Christian Orthodox populace and nationalists, slow forms however maximum currently a decade-lengthy economic crisis. Amid a coronavirus outbreak, simplest a constrained quantity of worshippers, sporting mask, and sitting at a distance from every different because of COVID-19 restrictions, attended prayers.

Athens’ mosque draws a mixed response among the city’s Muslim population:

Heider Ashir, a member of the mosque’s governing council, thanked God and stated that they subsequently have a mosque this is open to wish freely. But different Muslims have been sad with the mosque’s appearance. A grey, square shape without a dome or minaret, has no resemblance to different graceful, ornate mosques in Europe. Under a lockdown to scale back a surge in COVID infections, gatherings for formal worshipping could be banned from Saturday till Nov. 30.

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