A survey conducted by SonntagsBlick reveals a rising fear of Islam in Switzerland.
38% of the 1,003 people surveyed say they feel threatened by Muslims in Switzerland. This percentage is more than double the 16% recorded in a similar survey in 2004.
Önder Günes, a spokesperson for the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Switzerland, told Blick that “This result is very concerning for Swiss Muslims, especially given that we are well integrated according to other studies.”
81% of the survey group thought Switzerland’s authorities were too lenient towards muslim preachers who incite violence. 76% thought the authorities should be able to detain preachers considered dangerous without being bound by prison terms set out in current law.
The survey coincides with the news that the Swiss commune of Nidau is trying to get the canton of Bern to expel a Libyan imam who has preached hate. The preacher has reportedly called for the destruction of all enemies of islam, including christians, jews, hindus, Russians and shiites.
In addition, 81 % favoured banning salafism, and 83% would like a system that requires imams to get official authorisation before they can preach in Switzerland. 80% would also like rules that require muslim leaders in Switzerland to recognise equality between men and women and the principle of the separation of the state and religion.
Furthermore, 65% thought preaching should be done in a national language, while 55% thought imams should require training at a Swiss university.
Finally, 60% of people surveyed were against the idea of Islam being recognised as a state religion.
According to migraweb.ch there are around 400,000 Muslims living in Switzerland, of which about 15% practice their religion. 56% are from the Balkans and 20% from Turkey. The remainder come from more than 100 other countries.
SonntagsBlick article (in German)