Protests have reignited in Athens over the proposed mosque but this time the protestors have occupied the proposed site by building a makeshift shelter for homeless Greeks.
The innovative protest gesture has seen support from many quarters of Greek society and unsurprisingly has been embraced by neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party and other extreme-right groups in what appears to be a concerted effort to block the mosque’s construction.
The group occupying the plot calls itself the Association of Reservist Infantryman and has fenced the area off with barbed wire.
Meanwhile government sources have expressed their dismay at the protest action asserting that construction of the mosque is constitutional.
“The actions of these groups are reminiscent of past manifestations of hate which pose a threat to law, order and security,” said a statement issued by Kostis Papaioannou, the general secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights.
Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis intervened saying it was “far better to have one official place of worship rather than have 200 informal places around the city.”
According to Greek media, construction work for the mosque, which was approved in Parliament in August, has yet to begin as a string of prerequisite bureaucratic procedures have yet to be completed.
The cost of the proposed mosque will cost the Greek state an estimated 87 million euros.