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Population musulmane

Immigrant Muslims have had an important presence in Greece since the 1990s as part of the general flow of immigration. Muslim immigrants come from Albania (after 1990) and from African and Asian countries (after 2000). Muslims in Greece are estimated 350,000-400,000 (unofficial estimate). According to a Pew survey, conducted in 2016, the percentage of Muslims in Greece is estimated at 5.7%, i.e. around 550,000. The data from Pew is based on estimations from the 2001 census which, however, does not include religious affiliation.

Albanians are included in both the above estimations, however, as it is usually mentioned by Muslims themselves, most Albanians or at least a large majority of them are not religious. One should therefore be cautious about counting them as part of the country’s Muslim population. This is supported by a 2020 survey conducted by Dianeosis according to which participants of Albanian origin stated that they are primarily Christians (58.9%), not religious (32.2%) or Muslims (8.4%).

Muslims of Greek citizenship (approx. 120,000) are mostly Turkish-speaking and express Turkish national feelings. About 20,000 of them have Pomak (a Bulgarian dialect) as their mother tongue, partly expressing an ethnic Pomak identity, often along with a Turkish (national) identity, and about 5,000 speak Roma (partly expressing an ethnic Roma identity), although most of the Muslim Roma are monolingual Turkish speakers. As religion and mother tongue ceased to be a question in the national census after 1951, all the above figures are rough estimates. Muslims of Greek citizenship are mainly concentrated in Thrace, Athens and Thessaloniki, and Rhodes and Kos (Dodecanese Islands). It is estimated that more than 65% of the overall Muslim population (mostly immigrants) is concentrated in the greater Athens metropolitan area.

Sunni Islam is the most widespread form of Islam and is practised by migrants from North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Arab countries and by the Muslim minority in Thrace. Shi’ism is far less widespread, existing mainly among Kurdish, Pakistani and Iranian communities, while Alevism is found mostly among Turks and Kurds. Ahmadis are mainly Pakistanis. Individuals and small groups espousing Salafis, Tablighis and Sufi forms of Islamic religiosity are also present in Greece.

Approx. 300 mosques in Thrace, two in Kos and one in Rhodes, are officially registered as mosques and around 100 unofficial prayer houses function in the greater Athens region, in Thessaloniki and other cities. Five officially registered mosques are operational in Athens, Piraeus and Thiva.

Sources :
 Pew Research Center
 TSITSELIKIS, Konstantinos and SAKELLARIOU, Alexandros, “Greece”, in S.Müssig, E.Račius, S.Akgönül, A.Alibašić, J.S. Nielsen, O.Scharbrodt (Eds.) Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, Leiden : Brill, 2022, pp. 300-315.

D 9 février 2023    AAlexandros Sakellariou

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