Extremists protest plans for Athens mosque

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Associated Press

Posted on December 14, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Updated Saturday, Dec 14 at 7:30 AM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Several hundred supporters of the extreme right Golden Dawn party have attended a rally to protest against construction of a mosque in the Greek capital.

A contractor to build the mosque was chosen last month, 13 years after the project was first announced by the Greek government. Five previous bids to find a builder had been canceled amid a hostile reception from extremists and fanatical Orthodox Christians. The growing Muslim community in Athens meanwhile has been using apartments as places of worship.

The mosque will lack a minaret in an attempt to minimize reactions among the predominantly Christian population.

Golden Dawn supporters shouted slogans against Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey and a known secularist. Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu was in Athens on an official visit Friday.

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