UN Human Rights Council to condemn Swiss ban on minarets

The United Nations Council of Human Rights is intended to condemn a move by Switzerland to impose a ban on the construction of new minarets in the Alpine nation, characterizing the measure as “Islamophobic.”

A draft resolution proposed by the Muslim states for consideration in the 47-member council, “strongly condemns … the ban on construction of minarets of mosques and other recent discriminatory measures,” AFP said.

Such actions are “manifestations of Islamophobia that stand in sharp contradiction to international human rights obligations concerning freedoms of religion, belief, conscience and expression.” They “fuel discrimination, extremism, and misperception leading to polarization and fragmentation with dangerous unintended and unforeseen consequences,” cautioned the draft resolution.

The draft resolution is to be put to the Council for adoption by the end of the month.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has described the ban as a “deeply discriminatory, deeply divisive and a thoroughly unfortunate step for Switzerland to take.”

Press TV, 10 March 2010

Update:  See also “UN resolution on minaret ban contested”, Swissinfo, 11 March 2010