Qatar’s prominent Islamic scholar and chairman of the International Federation of Ulema (IFU) Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has urged the Muslims of Switzerland to seek the annulment of the ban on the construction of minarets on mosques in that country, according to reports published in the local Arabic press.
Addressing a message to the Muslims of Switzerland in the context of the referendum in which 57.5% of the Swiss people voted for the ban, Sheikh Qaradawi said:
“Consider yourself as an integral part of the society you live in; be loyal, honest and sincere to your country of domicile. You should work hard and be perfect in whatever work you do for the sake of the progress and betterment of that country. Do not be upset by those who want to antagonise and frustrate you. Indeed you should try to reason with them in a calm and composed manner. Be tolerant and patient whenever you feel hurt and let down.
“The IFU is of the view that this decision, irrespective of the fact that it has been taken on a majority vote, is a new form of animosity against Islam and Muslims in Switzerland. The rest of Europe may perhaps follow suit as indicated by Denmark. It has hailed this vote and announced that it will make a similar move.
“It is obligatory on the part of the Swiss government to take necessary measures to safeguard the lives of the Muslim minority against this animosity.
“The IFU urges the Muslim minority in Switzerland to be calm and restrain from emotional reactions. They should seek to have this decision annulled through legal and democratic channels. And work in co-ordination with all those local and international organisations that have deplored this decision.
“The IFU also calls upon the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to launch an international campaign against this decision and to expose the double standards practised by the Western countries.”