Political history: Switzerland’s controversial minaret ban, ten years on

Source: Swiss Info

By Abdelhafidh Abdeleli

A decade ago, a majority of Swiss voters backed a people’s initiative banning the building of minarets in the country. What has changed since?

The people’s initiative was accepted by 57.5% of Swiss voters, even though most politicians, church leaders and Islamic organisations inside and outside Switzerland were against it.

Only the right-wing Swiss People’s Party and the Christian-conservative Federal Democratic Union backed the idea. For them, minarets were symbols of the religious and political rise of Islam.

The “yes” vote was a political sensation that nobody had anticipated.

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1 reply

  1. The slim white minaret, second from the right, belongs to the first Mosque built in Switzerland, by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The opening ceremony was performed in 1963 by the then President of the UN General Assembly Sir Mohammad Zafrullah Khan. I had the honour and pleasure to be present at the time.

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