Switzerland: Religious profiling: Muslim umbrella group warns against stigmatisation of Islam


A picture of Muslims praying in an Islamic centre near Bern
“Islam in its diversity is increasingly being reduced to problematic elements such as terror and radicalisation,” federation spokesperson Gemperli said.


The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Switzerland has warned against associating crimes with a certain religion.

In an interview external linkwith the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZexternal link) on Tuesday, federation spokesperson Pascal Gemperli said that someone’s religious affiliation was not a determining factor in crime.

Muslim teenagers are not disproportionately represented in juvenile crime proceedings, according to Gemperli.

“We often observe that Muslims are quantified as a block, while Christians are split into their different churches,” Gemperli said in the interview.

If it were proven that people with a weaker sense of faith received heavier punishments than stronger believers, religion would probably even be classified as a violence-inhibiting factor, he said.

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Religion, like culture, was a very abstract concept, he added, so that drawing a direct conclusion from this factor to someone’s risk of violence was questionable.

Many phenomena, such as honour killings, could not be explained by a single reason but must be understood within the multi-faceted context of religious, historical and social influences, Gemperli said.

‘Islam belongs to Switzerland’

The Federation of Islamic Organisations warned against the stigmatisation of Islam in Switzerland, pointing out that since 2013 the number of cases of discrimination against Muslims had more than doubled.

“Islam in its diversity is increasingly being reduced to problematic elements such as terror and radicalisation,” Gemperli said.

Since 9/11, Muslims in Switzerland have had a reputation problem and it was sometimes even suggested that they cannot be “real Swiss”, he said. “It is therefore important to realise that Islam belongs to Switzerland.”

3 replies

  1. I think this profiling will not only put a target on the backs of Muslims as is but bring back the days when Hitler made Jews wear the Star of David for identification purposes. It will be like that for Muslims. And the it’ll be WW III. And you will see genocide of Muslims in modern concentration camps which will be discovered about centuries later in USA underground secttioned by Trump or something. I think this hate, indifference, intolerance, all this ignorance needs to be set aside. We need to be more compassionate humane more kind and selfless. Love for All, hatred for none.

  2. Thank you Mr. Rafiq for clarifying a large misconception in the world today, specifically with Islamophobia. Instead of blaming it on the individual or taking into account his/her social upbringing the media is quick to jump to attacking on the religion. It’s no less than racism, except in this case is discrimination against religion. I’m very happy to learn that Switzerland is speaking out on this and being the welcoming country it is.

  3. It’s a fact that media can play a positive role in spreading love, peace, patience and harmony among society, nation and countries . But unfortunately it’s playing it’s role negatively.
    A religion couldn’t be blamed for individuals crimes

    “MashaAllah a beautiful mosque “

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