Swiss prosecutors have opened an investigation into the liberal Islam critic Saida Keller-Messahli over libel allegations against a controversial Islamist preacher.
“We opened an investigation against Ms Keller-Messahli on suspicion of slander and defamation”, a spokesperson for Bern’s prosecution office told the Swiss News Agency on Monday. If a complaint is made containing allegations of defamation, the Swiss authorities must automatically take action.
The allegations concern the controversial Libyan imam Abu Ramadan, who was caught up in a media storm last year. Ramadan is accused of having preached messages of hate at a mosque in French-speaking Switzerland
Keller-Messahli, the founder and president of The Forum for Progressive Islamexternal link, criticised the controversial Muslim preacher Abu Ramadan heavily and accused him of having called on God to protect Al-Qaeda and Libyan IS fighters in one of his sermons.
There is an ongoing criminal investigation against Ramadan over racial discrimination charges. Ramadan, who received welfare payments in Switzerland for many years, lost his asylum status but continues to live in Switzerland on a permanent resident permit.
Keller-Messahli, who received the 2016 Human Rights Prize from the Swiss section of the International Society for Human Rights (IGFMexternal link), is an outspoken critic of politicians from the left for ignoring the problem of radical imams because of their priority to protect minorities.