November 29, 2010
Precisely one year following the Swiss referendum banning minarets in 2009, the Swiss Islamic Central Council (IZRS) has announced that it wishes to hold another national referendum in order to remove the minaret ban from the constitution. No other Muslim organizations were consulted with regard to this plan, which had been kept secret due to tactical considerations.
Leaders of the IZRS stated that not even a ruling against Switzerland in the European Court of Human Rights would achieve would Muslims in Switzerland need, and that only way to fight the ban is by holding another referendum. Oscar Bergamin, political consultant for the IZRS, believes that there are good chances to win a second referendum, since the ban is discriminatory and unfairly singles out Muslim places of worship.
The very same day that the IZRS made their announcement, the Anti-Minaret Committee led by Ulrich Schüler of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) presented a manifesto in Berne against the Islamicization of Switzerland. The document emphasizes Switzerland’s Christian heritage and gives voice to the group’s frustration that the government has not been implementing the minaret ban, especially in the case of the Langenthal minaret project. The document goes on to denounce all practices of sharia law, and calls for all Muslims wishing to become Swiss citizens to pledge allegiance to the constitution and the laws of the country.