Petitions in London, protests in Cologne, a court case in Marseille and a violent clash in Berlin -- Muslims in Europe are meeting resistance to plans for mosques that befit Islam's status as the continent's second religion.
Across Europe, Muslims who have long prayed in garages and old factories now face skepticism and concern for wanting to build stately mosques to give proud testimony to the faith and solidity of their Islamic communities.
Some critics reject them as signs of "Islamization". Others say minarets would scar their city's skyline. And some even see Muslim houses of worship as potential security threats.
The issue hit the headlines in Britain in late July when a false petition against a "mega-mosque" next to the 2012 London Olympics site was posted on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Web site. It attracted more than 275,000 signatures before it was taken down.
In Germany last month, there were anti-mosque protests in Cologne and Berlin and a local council voted against one in Munich. A French far-right group vowed to sue the city of Marseille for a second time for helping build a "grand mosque".
Bekir Alboga of the Turkish Islamic Union (DITIB) in Cologne said critics who see these new mosques as signs of separatism or of an Islamic colonization of Europe miss the point.
"The desire of Muslims to build a house of worship means they want to feel at home and live in harmony with their religion in a society they have accepted as theirs," he said.
France an exception
France, whose five million-strong Muslim minority is Europe's largest, has a longer history of mosques in its cities and many mayors provide land at low cost for them.
"Everyone has a right to a significant house of worship," the French mayor of Marseille told the city council. He is a strong supporter of a new "cathedral mosque" which will be built after decades of debate.
But even there, a far-right party, the National Republican Movement (MNR), unexpectedly won two court cases this year against these subsidies in the Paris suburb of Montreuil and in Marseille, where a quarter of the population is Muslim.
The tensions arise because houses of worship have a high symbolic value in Europe, where the cathedral or church is usually the centre of town, said Riem Spielhaus, an expert on Islam in Europe at Berlin's Humboldt University.
"A mosque symbolically retraces the changes that have been made in society," she said. "It reopens the debate on whether these changes are good, whether Muslims should live here, even whether Islam is a good religion."
But this is rarely discussed openly, she said. Disputes about mosques tend to focus on other issues, such as terrorism, the role of women or the availability of parking spots.
In Switzerland, two right-wing parties have launched a petition for a referendum to ban minarets on mosques there.
Italy's anti-immigration Northern League called last month for all mosques there to be closed for security checks. In December 2006, protesters left a severed pig's head outside a mosque being built in the Tuscan town of Colle di Val d'Elsa.
Concern about Islam has deep roots in some countries. In Greece, which lived for four centuries under Ottoman Turkish rule, Muslims only got their first purpose-built mosque in Athens in June. Plans for a larger one are still on hold.
In Spain, a bastion of Islamic culture for eight centuries until 1492, Catholic leaders nervously turned down a request from Muslims to pray in Cordoba Cathedral, originally a mosque.
A local Muslim group wants to build a half-scale replica of the mosque for its own use, but has not yet submitted its plan.