The Best of GRReporter
flag_bg flag_gr flag_gb

Muslims accused Samaras of racism

21 September 2012 / 18:09:54  GRReporter
4306 reads

The chairman of the Muslim Association of Greece Naim Elghandour made the accusation, on the grounds of the pre-election statement of the Greek Prime Minister that Greece was invaded by immigrants. Commenting on the recent frequent racist attacks against immigrants, he said, "We live in a country whose Prime Minister is a racist. I refer to his statements during the pre-election campaign, when he had said that immigrants had invaded Greece. And this was despite the fact that he comes from the Benaki family, which originated in Alexandria in Egypt - my hometown."
Naim Elghandour has made it clear that he does not mix religion with the immigration issue and that Muslims in Greece feel like second-class citizens. "There are two main and most important problems: the absence of a house of prayer and a Muslim cemetery. The older of us have got used to it but the second generation, the children who know no other homeland, cannot understand why their classmates go to church, and we must pray in basements, shops and homes because we have no mosque. Relatives of the deceased have to transport them as far as Komotini in northern Greece in order to bury them in the Muslim cemetery there or they have to pay huge costs to send them to their birthplaces."

The chairman of the Muslim Association expressed his gratitude to the Greek Church for the allocated area near Shisto for the building of a cemetery. "Unfortunately, no government representative was present to receive the donation and give it to us. The delayed construction of a mosque is not related to the economic crisis. The money was allocated, but absolutely nothing has been done from that point on." In his opinion, the Association would most likely take legal actions to mobilize the government and he stressed that Athens is the only European capital in which there is no mosque.
"A young unemployed Greek can always seek help from his or her family to survive. An immigrant of the same age has no one to turn to, he or she has no job and often starves. The current tension regarding immigrants will bring nothing positive," Naim Elghandour said, adding that this is not a warning, but an observation and a conclusion from the contacts with them.
He made his high-sounding statement during the press conference the Muslim Association had organized in conjunction with the film "Innocence of Muslims," ​​which provoked mass protests and violence as well as the murder of the ambassador and three other employees of the US embassy in Libya.
Naim Elghandour opposed the violence and said that the prophet Mohammed ridiculed in the film was the subject of attacks, to which he responded only with his speech.
"We respect the freedom of speech in Arab countries. It was absent in our countries for decades, and we suffered from it. However, I wonder if the USA would allow the showing of a film that presents bin Laden as a hero. I deeply doubt it," he said, adding that all should respect a religion with 1.8 billion followers around the world. "Muslims cannot accept the desecration of our religion, but we stand firmly against violence. There are people with extreme views among us too, but the vast majority of us are not fanatics."
According to Naim Elghandour, showing the film on the Internet is not connected with religion. "They wanted to test the reaction of the Muslims after the Arab Spring. Presidential elections are to be held in the USA and some people have decided to take advantage of this and attack Obama in this way. That is to say that they were able to cause all this because of an internal problem of the United States."
Such was the opinion of Tatiana Papanastasiou who has a PhD in sociology Tatiana Papanastasiou. She pointed out that the film was finished at the end of last year, but the authors chose the symbolic date of 11 September to present it on the web. "It is all happening after the Arab Spring, while the relations between the USA and the new governments in the Arab countries are very fragile, and the tension between Israel and Iran is growing. The uploading of this film was intended to provoke reactions of extreme elements. In addition to religion, there are political reasons for the outburst of violence as well."

According to professor of theology Alexandros Kariotoglu, there are several reasons for the wave of violence in Muslim countries: "The first is the fact that Islam has been present in the western world for years already. The second reason is that re-Islamisation of Muslims who live there is being attempted, especially of the second generation of immigrants, and a kind of advertisement of Islam is running with it. The third one is that in recent years, a virtual Muslim society has formed with the help of internet technology. All this provokes filmmakers, cartoonists and others to react to Islam, to criticize it and mock it."
The theologian was firm that actions like the making of the film that scandalized millions of Muslims are a "spiritual rape" and therefore must be condemned. "It is not reasonable to offend the sacred symbols of a religion and the people who follow it in the name of freedom of speech," he said and advocated strongly against violence.
The journalist of Palestinian origin Nassim Alatras claimed in turn that the film "Innocence of Muslims" was "a plan of the right and the far right from the USA to Europe to not allow Christians and Muslims to come together and live in harmony with each other." He added that there is a difference between freedom of speech and its commercialization. "I did not see the film; I did not want to. I stopped at the title. If anyone thinks that Muslims are innocent in the sense of naive, he's wrong. They know very well where they tread and what they want."

Tags: SocietyPoliticsMuslimsAntonis SamarasRacismInnocence of Muslims
GRReporter’s content is brought to you for free 7 days a week by a team of highly professional journalists, translators, photographers, operators, software developers, designers. If you like and follow our work, consider whether you could support us financially with an amount at your choice.
You can support us only once as well.
blog comments powered by Disqus