Stella L. Jatras reports on the building of a grand new mosque in Athens:
Greek authorities have given approval for a mosque to be built in Athens. Saudi Arabia first requested that the mosque be built near the Athens airport. Undoubtedly, the intent was that the first thing tourists and visitors to Greece would see would be the huge mosque, giving the impression that Greece was or soon would be a Muslim country rather than a Christian one. Fortunately, this did not happen.
Saudi Arabia made its original proposal for the mosque in 1983; some local citizens and the powerful Greek Orthodox Church objected. European critics shamed Athens for being the only capital in Europe not to have a mosque. An International Herald Tribune article in 2007 reported that a large-size temporary mosque had been established in an abandoned factory at Moschato in the greater Athens area. It lacked minarets, and its presence has not created any issues with the locals. Now, the state-funded mosque is to be built on 18 acres currently used by the Greek Navy, according to Greece's Ekathimerini newspaper, in an area of the city that is being revitalized as a sports and parks complex.
"State funded" merely means that instead of the wealthy Saudi government building the mosque, Greek citizens, the majority of whom oppose the building of a mosque, are now committed to pay for a project which they find offensive. To see the crescent and to hear the Islamic call to prayer (five times a day) once again is but a painful reminder of Greece's submission of 400 years under Islamic rule, the tragedy of Cyprus, the present day persecution of Greeks in Constantinople (today's Istanbul), and the slaughter of Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians in Asia Minor.
Greeks would do well to look at the example of how the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo proclaimed independence after gaining a Muslim Albanian majority. The camel's nose under the tent is more than a quaint expression. During NATO's bombing of Kosovo, ethnic Albanians fled to Orthodox Christian countries such as Greece, Romania and Bulgaria. As their numbers increase, there are more demands for satisfying their religious needs. That is how it starts. In Kosovo, ethnic Albanian Muslims crossed illegally into Christian Kosovo. They first demanded autonomy, which they got. Then they fought for and were granted Independence, gratis, by the U.S. administration. If Greece isn't more careful, she will soon be confronted with an ever-growing Islamic population that will demand that Greece remove the Cross from her flag because it offends them.
Author Ioannis Michaletos writes in his commentary entitled, "Greater Albania's attack on Europe":As it can be understood, the Albanian nationalists are mainly interested in creating a larger state by encompassing all Albanian minorities in the neighboring states. Inevitably that means conflicts across the Balkans for years to come, and it is puzzling how the international community is not interested enough to control the aims of the Albanians that first and foremost put in danger the European prospects of the whole of the region.
According to the Greek newspaper Elefherotypia in the November 7, 2007, issue, the Greek government has also committed itself to establishing a cemetery for Muslims in the Athens area, in addition to the planned Athens mosque. A series of new mosques is also being built for Greek citizens of the Muslim faith in Thrace. These are built with private donations (although there are suspicions that Turkey may be involved in the financing). There have been some disputes with Greek government zoning authorities, which regulate the height of the structures and do not permit minarets above a certain height. The local Greek Muslims reportedly want to have higher minarets than what is permitted, and "do not mind" whether or not they can withstand an earthquake.
In "The Real Greek Tragedy," Ioannis Kolovos writes:Taking into account that Greece’s total population is about 11,000,000 then, officially, non-Greek immigrants make-up 8.2% of the country’s total population. In US terms, this would be the equivalent of receiving a population of 17,000,000 ex post facto regularized immigrants (through amnesty bills) and 8,200,000 illegal immigrants in the last 18 years.
The Greek governments made a catastrophic mistake in starting the dominoes of successive regularizations falling. This policy sent out the wrong message. It gave the impression that Greece is soft touch and if someone somehow makes it into the country they will get a chance of regularization sooner or later. Moreover, Greek governments, by offering regularization, essentially rewarded the breach of the law both by illegal immigrants (illegal entry/stay) and by those who employed them (hire of illegal labor).
And so it keeps coming! Mosques, cultural centers, cemeteries, legal and illegal Muslims from the entire Islamic world.
Don't think that what happened to the Serbs cannot happen to the Greeks. Serbia, as well as Greece, was our ally in two world wars. Now that the rhetoric with Russia is again heating up, Turkey will once again become more vital to United States security interests than will Greece. Loyalty seems no longer to be a word in our American dictionary.
Hasn't anyone ever heard of reciprocity? Hasn't anyone in the Greek government the courage to speak up and say to the Saudis, "You can have your mosque in Athens as soon as you let us build our Orthodox church in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia”? The same holds true regarding the United States and all the European nations, as thousands of mosques have sprung up, many funded by Saudi Arabia, without reciprocity.
In my estimation, Greek authorities are making a terrible mistake. One only need look at the tragedy of Kosovo or moves to establish Sharia Law, as we are seeing now in Great Britain. Today, there are more practicing Muslims in Britain than there are practicing Anglicans. If Greece is not more careful, she will soon be confronted with an ever growing Islamic population whose demands may someday cost Greece her very existence or national identity.