Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Swiss Minaret Ban Discriminates Against Muslims

Swiss Minaret Ban Discriminates Against Muslims, Says UN Expert

New York, Nov 30 2009 10:10AM An independent United Nations expert on religious freedom today voiced regret at the Swiss vote to ban the construction of new minarets, stating that such a prohibition clearly discriminates against Muslims.

“I have deep concerns at the negative consequences that the outcome of the vote will have on the freedom of religion or belief of members of the Muslim community in Switzerland,” Asma Jahangir, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, stated in a news release.

“Indeed, a ban on minarets amounts to an undue restriction of the freedom to manifest one’s religion and constitutes a clear discrimination against members of the Muslim community in Switzerland,” she added, also noting that the UN Human Rights Committee stated a month ago that such a ban is contrary to the country’s obligations under international human rights law.

“This vote reminds us that no societies are immune to religious intolerance,” stressed Ms. Jahangir, adding that “it is therefore more than ever necessary to continue raising awareness and educating people about religious diversity, enabling all societies to adopt an enlightened and progressive attitude towards the beliefs of other communities.”

Doing so will help to eliminate the grounds for “irrational fears” towards Muslims, which have been exploited in Switzerland for political purposes,” she warned.

The Special Rapporteur urged authorities in Switzerland, which has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to take the necessary measures to fully protect the right to freedom of religion or belief for the Muslim community.

Ms. Jahangir, who carries out her work in an independent and unpaid capacity, reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.

ENDS

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.