Swiss faith leaders oppose national ban on minarets
Issue will be decided in November referendum
Oct 06, 2009
The Swiss Council of Religions, which includes Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders, has gone on record rejecting a call for a nationwide ban on the construction of minarets at mosques. Some Swiss groups want to ban minarets out of fear of Europe’s growing Muslim population.
“For the members of a religious community, religious buildings are not only places to gather but also a symbol of their faith and an expression of their reverence for God. For many Muslims, therefore, mosques need to have minarets,” the council said in a statement issued September 2.
“The prohibition of minarets would injure these people in their dignity and their basic right to practice their religion,” the council warned.
The proposal to ban the construction of minarets was submitted in July 2008 with just under 115,000 signatures. The issue will be decided in a national referendum on November 29.