Religious council opposes minaret ban

The Swiss Council of Religions has firmly rejected a controversial minaret ban proposed by rightwing parties.

This content was published on September 2, 2009 - 10:49

The issue will go to a nationwide vote on November 29. In an appeal on Wednesday the council said Muslim communities should be better integrated into Switzerland rather than excluded.

The ban goes against the council's central aim of promoting inter-religious harmony and uses religion for political ends, a spokesman noted.

The council argued that as freedom of religion was a universal human right, followers should be allowed to practise their faith "within the limits of public order", including the construction of religious buildings.

The cabinet and parliament have rejected the minaret initiative, which has prompted widespread concerns, including from Muslim organisations.

There are currently four minarets in Switzerland and another has been given the go-ahead.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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