Greece: Double standards on law enforcement with regard to places of worship

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

It is well known that the places of worship of every religion are closed due to coronavirus in Greece. But what concerns and raises questions is the implementation of the law.

I read on «Newsit»:

  • « 9 Moroccan and Syrian Muslims arrested by police officers in Zografou area for praying in an improvised place of worship, thus violating the restrictive measures imposed by the Government as far as religious gatherings are concerned.
  • Local police officers had information about this religious gathering of Muslims who reside in the area of Zografou, resulting to intervene and arrest them.
  • To the defendants will be provided fine which in these cases can reach up to 1,000 euros, while at the same time they were charged with infringement of the measures and they be leded to flagrante delicto.
  • It is worth noting, however, that the government has imposed restrictions on the functioning of the temples for all religions to protect the faithfuls due to the coronavirus, while most improvised places of worship in Attica have been closed and in many cases are regularly monitored by police patrols to see if the bans are met. «

According to the news, to Muslims imposed a fine and followed flagrante delicto procedure. But let’s see a similar story, this time the main characters are Christians. We read from «Kathimerini»:

  • «The Metropolitan of Kythira Seraphim was arrested as he opened the doors of the Cathedral of the Cross on Kythira on Friday and called on the faithfuls to perform the Greetings, which he normally performed, despite the prohibition, with bells ringing and calling the believers to come to church.
  • A case file was formed and he released. Next time it will be in flagrante delicto.
  • It is noted that the temple is small and with the chanters and the elderly who were inside the crowd was inevitable. «

The logical question that arises is why in the case of the Metropolitan, we did not have the process of flagrante delicto as well as the fine, exactly as it happen in the case of Muslims?

In Larissa and Agrinio, Christians were routinely gathered in churches with the police simply observing. We read in «The News»

  • «The images from Larissa and Agrinio with the faithful crowded outside the churches, removing any measure of protection, are indicative.
  • Specifically, at the Church of the Annunciation at the center of Larissa at 09:30 in the morning there was a long queue outside, as shown in the photo posted on facebook.
  • At the same time, as shown in the pictures of, many people gathered outside the (closed) church for the Divine Liturgy, which was transmitted by the temple loudspeakers.
  • A police patrol was on the place and by a loudspeaker called on people to return to their homes, but there was no positive reaction from them.
  • In fact, the Police Officers got off the patrol and tried to advice the people, without success … «.

A reasonable question arises: Does the law apply only to Muslims and not to Christians? In the case of Muslims the law has strong reflexes with fines, arrests and flagrante delictos, while in the case of Christians we don’t have simple appeals?

And all this when the Muslims, having a high sense of responsibility, first closed the places of worship before the prohibitive measure for sealing the places of worship was announced.

As Muslims, Greeks and foreigners, we have given a clear message to our authorities and our society that we are at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. But what is the message of the state to the Muslims, following these rules of law enforcement?

Ahmad M. Eldin

Diploma in Islamic studies

Salaf-ul-Salih Mosque (Ar Rahman) –

Στο θεωρώ ότι ο καθένας έχει δικαίωμα να εκφράζεται, αυτό όμως δεν σημαίνει ότι υιοθετώ τις απόψεις αυτές. Το κάθε σχόλιο εκφράζει τον σχολιαστή και μόνο. Παρακαλώ πολύ να είστε ευπρεπείς στις εκφράσεις σας. Σχόλια με ύβρεις, ειρωνείες, προκλήσεις, χλευασμούς, θα διαγράφονται αυτόματα

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