In this follow up to the "Muslims Clash With Greek Police for Second day" article, non-Muslims strike back. Now it is just a matter of time until the Muslims there play the victim card.
Athens Muslim group attacked in wake of violent protests
At least three people were hospitalized in Athens on Saturday morning after a firebomb attack on a shop used as a Muslim prayer center for immigrants
Police said unknown assailants smashed the shop's windows and poured gasoline inside before igniting it, a police source said.
The attack came a day after clashes between more than 1,000 Muslim protesters and Greek police in central Athens prompted by the alleged desecration of a copy of the Koran by police.
The march was organized by leftist, immigrant and anti-racism groups. Violence broke out after the rally when a group of protesters began throwing projectiles at police.
Immigrant groups allege that an Athens police officer tore apart and stepped on the Koran of a coffee shop customer during a police check in central Athens late Thursday. Police said they have launched an investigation into the incident.
Some 46 protesters were arrested Friday during the clashes, while seven Muslim immigrants and seven policemen were hospitalized for treatment. More than 70 cars and around a dozen businesses were damaged in the clashes, which sent tourists running for cover in nearby hotels.
Many Muslims in Athens use abandoned factories and converted coffee shops as makeshift prayer houses. Some Muslim groups have complained of police brutality and poor treatment by officials in the past.
Athens is the only European capital which does not have a proper mosque or cemetery to serve its more than 300,000 Muslim residents, mainly from various parts of northern Africa and Pakistan.
At present, the only operating mosques in Greece are in the north-eastern region of Thrace, home to some 100,000 Muslims.
Larger protests on Thursday saw around 1,500 Muslim immigrants rally before the march degenerated into violence with police resorting to tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Editor: Andreas Illmer
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