Invisible Prayers—Makeshift
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Unofficial mosques let Greece’s Muslims pray their own way

— Invisible Prayers

InvisiblePrayers1
Javed Aslam extends his palm and wraps his long fingers around a visitor’s hand. The president of Greece’s Pakistani community, he’s agreed to give a tour of the mosques scattered across Athens.

Although ‘mosques’ isn’t exactly the right word. These houses of worship are largely unofficial and hidden, offering a small refuge for faithful Muslims in a country with no central mosque. Older, bigger Islamic establishments are officially registered only as ‘cultural centers’. Newer ones are either unregistered or have filed papers to become legal, but remain registered as spaces offering ‘religious services’.

“The Greek government keeps promising us an official tzami (mosque), but it never gets constructed,” Javed explains from his office, which overlooks the central Kotzia square.

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