Council of Europe urges end to minaret ban

Council of Europe parliamentarians have called for the Swiss ban on building minarets to be repealed on the basis that it discriminates against Muslims in Switzerland.

This content was published on June 23, 2010 - 15:37

The recommendation was made by the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly on Wednesday during a debate on Islam and Islamophobia in Europe. It urges Switzerland to adopt a moratorium on the ban and reverse it as soon as possible.

“The construction of minarets should be possible, under the same status as is given to church towers, in accordance with public safety and town planning regulations,” said the recommendation.

Swiss voters approved a ban on future minaret construction in the country in November. The initiative was brought to a referendum by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party.

Subsequent complaints of discrimination were lodged with the European Court of Human Rights, which has yet to decide on the issue.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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