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Muslim army recruits get special conditions

The Swiss army has drawn up guidelines outlining special conditions for meals and prayers for its rising number of Muslim recruits.

The move is in line with the army’s tradition of catering to other faiths, spokesman Martin Bühler said, following an article in the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper. Special provisions already exist for Jewish soldiers.

Muslims going into the summer recruit school – part of obligatory military service for young men – can now signal that they do not want to eat pork. They will instead be offered an alternative. Halal products can in some cases be brought in.

However, the five daily prayers will not be possible, but recruits will be able to pray once the day’s army duties are over.

The guidelines have been drawn up with the input of Muslims, according to the NZZ am Sonntag.

The number of recruits of Islamic faith has been on the rise in the past few years. In some infantry recruit schools, one in ten new soldiers is a Muslim, the paper said.

The Muslim community in Switzerland accounts for about 4.5 per cent of the population.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



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