Persecution of Non-Muslims (Greece)
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14 people hospitalized as 1,500 Muslim immigrants riot in central Athens, attacking police and damaging shops and cars, in response to an alleged Qur'an desecration
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades at hundreds of protesters outside parliament and elsewhere in the Athens city center. The government said 46 protesters were arrested and 75 cars were damaged.
Chanting God is great! and waving leather-bound copies of Islam's holy book, about 1,500 Muslim immigrants -- mostly young men -- marched to Parliament in the center of Athens to express their anger. The clashes occurred after the protest had dwindled to about 300. Rioters hurled rocks at police and attacked police cordons with sticks and their belts, ignoring pleas for calm in Arabic and Greek from protest organizers. The violence spread as young men overturned cars, set fire to trash bins and attacked several banks.
Seven policemen and seven immigrants were being treated in hospital for injuries, police said. Onlookers, including tourists in Athens' central square, watched, with some holding up their cell phones to photograph the protesters.
Police said they will investigate the allegation that a police officer tore up the Iraqi immigrant's copy of the Quran while checking his identity papers in Athens on Wednesday. Anyone found responsible will be strictly held to account. But this isolated incident cannot justify these acts of violence, said Christos Markoyiannakis, a minister in charge of police.
Police released photographs of the torn Quran but gave no further details. We want the officer or officers involved to be prosecuted, and the government to issue an apology, protester Manala Mohammed, a Syrian national who helped organize the rally, told The Associated Press.We want people to show us respect.Most Greece's native born population of 10.7 million are baptized into the Christian Orthodox Church. Waves of illegal immigration over the past few years have led to an influx of Muslims, mostly from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Many live in squalid, overcrowded apartments in run-down parts of central Athens.
TodaysZaman, May 25, 2009
1,000 Muslim immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Syria, and Somalia, chant "Allah is greater" and clash with riot police in a rally against "racism and islamophobia" initiated by immigrant and leftist groups
The rally has been initiated by the "Destroy Racism" organization and other immigrant and leftist groups. The protesters gathered on the Omonia Square over the way that four Syrian immigrants had been detained during an ID inspection by the police at a Syrian-owned coffee shop.
Reported, one of the Greek policeman took a customer's Koran, tore it up, and stomped it. The police have started an internal investigation.
Friday rally gathered about 1 000 persons mostly between 20 and 30 years of age, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Syria, and Somalia, who chanted "Allah is great".After some of the protesters started to throw various objects at the riot police, the policemen used tear gas to disperse them.
Sofia News, May 22, 2009
"We are all with Osama", 1,000 Muslims violently protest movie, clash and throw objects at police, damage motorcycles, 3 cars and smash 3 storefronts. They take a prayer break in-between, then continue rioting
. . .
The violence occurred at the end of the rally, when small groups of protesters threw objects at police. Three cars were damaged and three storefronts smashed.Banners were displayed in English, denouncing the film and called on the U.S. to hang the filmmaker. One told President Barack Obama "we are all with Osama," referring to Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who was killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan in May 2011.
Associated Press, September 23, 2012
Protesting Muslims gathered in Omonia Square holding banners proclaiming "We demand an immediate punishment for those who tried to mock our Prophet Mohammad" Ekathimerini reported. Shouting "Allah is great" they assaulted police with bottles, stones and slabs of marble they broke from the sidewalks, as police tried to prevent the protesters approaching the U.S. Embassy.
Greek riot police resorted to tear gas to control the protesters and protect the security zone they had established around the U.S. Embassy. Hellas Frappe described the scene in central Athens as a "war zone."
According to To Vima police made 30 arrests as the rioters caused damage to parked cars, motorcycles and shops. The protests led Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) to dub Athens the "New Kabul" as they deplored the illegal gathering of "fanatical Islamists."
Ironically the Head of the Muslim Union of Greece, Naim El-Ghandour, had declared on Friday that Muslims in Greece "stand firmly against violence. There are people with extreme views among us too, but the vast majority of us are not fanatics." (Greek Reporter). He stated that Muslims in Greece were more concerned about other problems such as the economy and racism, rather than an anti-Islam film, as he accused Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of being a racist.In the midst of their protests the Muslims took a prayer break, then returned to smashing store windows and vandalizing property.
Katerina Nikolas, Digital Journal, September 24, 2012