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Controversial speech Imam suspended for wife-beating advice

Inside the Assalam mosque in Kriengs

The Dar Assalam mosque in Kriens in central Switzerland is frequented by Muslims for North Africa and the Middle East.

(Keystone/Alexandra Wey)

A Muslim preacher at a mosque near the city of Lucerne has been suspended over controversial statements about wife-beating.

An umbrella group representing the local Muslim communityexternal link told the media on Wednesday that the imam no longer worked at the mosque in Kriens in central Switzerland.

The Lucerne justice authorities had opened an inquiry against the man following reports that the imam advised followers to discipline their wives with physical violence if they disobey.

The incident allegedly occurred during a speech at a Friday prayer session in August.

The imam was briefly detained by police for questioning pending a legal investigation. The umbrella group recommended that the speeches at a mosque be recorded and kept for at least 12 months.

It is the latest case involving controversial imams at mosques in Switzerland.

Earlier this week, the highest court confirmed a decision not to renew the residence permit of an imam working in eastern Switzerland guilty of domestic abuse.

Other cases involve Muslim preachers in the Zurich area accused of spreading hatred and inciting violence.

A look inside Ostermundigen mosque

Muslims with roots from many different countries gather for Friday prayers at the Keyser mosque in Ostermundigen, a commune on Bern's doorstep. with Keystone-ATS/ug

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