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Anti-racism group calls minaret ban unnecessary

The initiative to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland is discriminatory and unnecessary, according to two pro-minority organisations.

The society for minorities in Switzerland and the Swiss foundation against racism and anti-Semitism said in Bern on Tuesday that such a move to change the constitution had to be soundly rejected.

The anti-minaret initiative, which goes to a public vote on November 29, was proposed by members of the rightwing Swiss People's Party and a small ultra-conservative Christian party to counter what they describe as "creeping Islamicisation".

In their opinion, this includes the repression of women, such as forced marriages, and the spread of sharia law and parallel Islamic societies within Switzerland.

The government strongly opposes the initiative and has launched its own campaign against it.

Seven political parties, including three of the four represented in government, have announced their own campaign against the initiative, saying it is an unnecessary, unlawful provocation that endangers peaceful religious and cultural co-existence.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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