UK Muslim association denounces Swiss Islamophobic vote

The Islamic Counselling Association based in London has denounced the recent Swiss referendum on the ban on minarets — a decision leading to the spread of Islamophobia and more Muslim hatred of the West.

Fathi Abdul, director of the Muslim association, told IRNA that the decision by the Swiss government to hold a referendum on a basic right of humans is per se “a violation of human rights”.

Referring to the Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Abdul said everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

“Article 18 stipulates that everyone has the right to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. “

Abdul said fascism and Nazism have returned to Europe and it is against democracy to deprive a large number of people from their right to religion.

“Such anti-Islamic sentiments are on the rise across Europe and here in Britain. It seems European countries are returning to 60 years ago when they rose against Muslims during Hitler and Mussolini.”

Referring to the recent Swiss referendum to ban the construction of minarets, the Islamic Counselling Association head said such a non-democratic move might result in the spread of Islamophobia across other European states.

“Islam is spreading in Europe increasingly and Muslims bear the duty of engaging in the public decision making processes to prevent the spread of Islamophobia.”

Abdul urged Muslims to stand united against Islamophobic acts by far-right and extremist groups.
In November, the Swiss government held a referendum on banning the construction of minarets among its 7.7 million population, less than half a million of them Muslims. More than 57% of voters and 22 out of 26 provinces voted in favour of the ban which raised the outcry of Muslims.

Later an appeal against banning the construction of minarets was submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Pierre de Preux, a lawyer acting for Hafid Ouardiri, the former spokesman of the Geneva mosque, urged the Strasbourg court to rule that the ban is incompatible with the European human rights convention.

A letter of protest has been also sent to the Swiss government and all the members of the Council of Europe to warn them against the impacts of Islamophobia.

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