>> Athens' Muslims have been waiting decades for an official mosque. Now their dream may finally come true. I'm Reuters reporter Deborah Kyvrikosaios in Athens, in one of the hundreds of makeshift mosques that exist in this city. Most of them are like this, underground basements in apartment buildings. They have a series of problems, they're damp, they're cold.
The conditions are not satisfactory, say the Muslim community, for prayer. Although plans for a mosque go as far back as the 1800s, the current government is the first to break ground, saying it is the democratic thing to do. Despite opposition from Greek Orthodox clerics, the ultra far-right party, and its government coalition partner.
To appease critics, the building will not have a minaret. It is in an industrial area, as past locations in residential areas brought protests from locals. Due to the financial crisis, the cost has been reduced. The Muslim community says future generations cannot continue to pray in basements.>> We tolerate places like that, and we can pray here, but our children will feel the conflict.
>> And with the arrival of tens of thousands of new Muslim migrants, who may make Athens their permanent home, the mosque could be more essential than ever.