European council demands lifting of banned minarets
|Thursday, June 24,2010 19:31|
Following a discussion held June 23, titled “Islam, Islamic trend and Islamophobia in Europe ”, the Council issued a statement stressing that the decision is unjust to Muslims; “building minarets should be made on the same basis as building church bells, with respect to public security and city orders”.
The Council stressed the need to issue an immediate decision lifting the ban on minarets. They asserted that it was plain discrimination against Muslims in Switzerland and a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Council also expressed its rejection to banning the niqab in public and called for drafting regulations for certain cases; including the ID, working in public places or in cases which require religious neutrality. The deputies stressed that Muslim women should be free to choose the way they dress.
More than 57% of Swiss voters backed a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets in November 29 causing much of a stir in the Islamic world. An Islamic association has filed a suit on the evident prejudice to the European Court for Human Rights; however a decision has not been made so far.
Muslims in Switzerland numbering approximately 400,000 make up 4.5% of the population and according to sources the Muslims there are peaceful and tolerant.