OIC Secretary General: Muslim world waiting for concrete steps from Switzerland
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 3 / Trend U.Sadykhova /
The Muslim world is waiting for concrete steps from the Swiss government to protect the fundamental rights of the country's Muslim community, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said at the meeting with Foreign Minister of Swiss Confederation Mrs. Micheline Calmy-Rey.
During the meting that took place in Geneva, as part of the 13th session of the Human Rights Council, Ihsanoglu expressed OIC's- the largest Muslim organization's concern and disappointment over the ban on the construction of minarets in Switzerland, taken in a general referendum in December 2009.
The ban on the construction of minarets in Switzerland has caused surprise and showed that the problem of Islamophobia in Europe took on the character of institutionalization and constitutionalization, which could have further negative consequences.
In December, the Swiss population supported a ban on building minarets on the territory of the confederacy in a general referendum.
The majority of the votes of the 59 percent of the population that participated in the referendum supported the Swiss People's Party (SVP), known for its nationalist slogans and hope to prohibit the construction of minarets in the country.
SVP representatives see the minarets not as religious, but rather as political symbol and calls on avoiding the "Islamization" of the country, while the Swiss government and parliament also opposed the referendum.
Calmy-Rey said that the referendum results were a surprise for the government, which clearly stated that opposes the ban on the construction of minarets.
She also informed the OIC head about that the government establishes regular contacts with the Muslim communities of Switzerland with a view to involve them in solving the problems of Swiss politics after the ban on minarets.
The sides agreed that further cooperation between the parties will be deepened to eliminate the false image of Islam.
According to various estimates, about 350,000-400,000 Muslims, mostly immigrants from Turkey and the Balkan countries, live in Switzerland, whose population is about 7.7 million people.
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