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Swiss Minaret ban faces legal challenge

The Swiss ban on Minarets could be challenged in the European courts, according to the head of a Muslim think-tank.

Switzerland voted to ban Minarets being built despite the fact that there are only for Minarets in the whole country.

A right wing Swiss party successfully campaigned to have all future Minarets banned, leading to fears that other European countries could follow suit.

But Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, told OBV Blog that any such move would be challenged in Strasbourg by Muslim groups and human rights campaigners.

It is still possible that Switzerland could find itself answering to the European Court.

Shafiq also said criticised billboards used in the Swiss campaign which featured 3D silhouettes of Minarets on a Swiss flag, making it look like a series of cruise missiles.

The campaign against Minarets, a small tower used to call Muslims to prayer, was closely linked to terrorism, with right wing politicians suggesting that the call to prayer symbolised a move towards Sharia Law.

Shafiq said: “Of course Minarets have nothing to do with Sharia Law.”
He added: “The real fear is that other European countries will do exactly the same and jump on this bandwagon.

“If they do there will certainly be a court challenge. Its about a central principle of religious freedom.”

The Telegraph reported today that Switzerland faces an international backlash following its’ vote.

Professor Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss citizen and Muslim scholar, wrote today that Switzerland had been gripped by an unfounded fear of being “silently colonised”, but also criticised progressive-minded people for not challenging these prejudices effectively.

By Lester Holloway

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