With the coronavirus pandemic running rife across the world, the Greek state took immediate actions to prevent the virus from becoming out of control in Greece. The results of their actions are immediately seen – 1,955 cases and 87 deaths, a far cry from many of their European counterparts suffering from the virus and Greece receiving praise for its efforts, as reported by Greek City Times.
However, as part of the efforts to contain the virus, Greece had to suspend daily services and sacraments in the Greek Orthodox Churches until at least April 27 when an evaluation of lockdowns will take place. This means that Greeks will not be celebrating Easter on April 19.
This was a painful reality that Greeks will not be celebrating the most holiest of days on the calendar but a necessary one so that Greece can overcome the pandemic.
As seen in the video though, there are three recent instances when mosques are still operating in Greece in defiance of the lockdown laws.
The first clip in the above video is from Komotini, one of the main towns for the Muslim minority in Western Thrace, showing a mosque operating, and as the video taker says, “this is when our Churches are closed.”
On March 25, another incident took place in the Cretan town of Ierapetra. A mosque can clearly be heard while the police stand on the outside of it doing nothing, while in other parts of Greece people are being fined for breaking the lockdown laws. This is the second clip in the above video.
Then, on the same day that Qatari state-owned Al-Jazeera released a film that alleged Greece’s human rights abuses against the Muslim minority in Western Thrace, a film that has already been debunked by Greek City Times, a video emerged on YouTube showing that mosques are defying the lockdown laws. It is seen as the third on Greek City Times’ compilation seen above.
These instances put a mockery to Al-Jazeera’s claims that the Muslims of Greece live in suppression by the state when they defy Greece’s laws to operate with no repercussions while churches remain closed over Easter.
Greece closed down all religious institutions on March 16 as part of its efforts to prevent mass gatherings and slowdown the spread of coronavirus. It is a shame though that some of the minorities are defying these laws when Greece is fighting to overcome the pandemic before summer begins.