Is Distributing the Quran in the Streets to Be Forbidden in Switzerland?

October 05, 2017

On September 21, 2017, the lower house of the Swiss Parliament voted to forbid the distribution of the Quran in the street for recruitment purposes

The National Council, voted on this measure 109 to 64. The motion was submitted in June 2017 by Walter Wobmann, a national councilor and member of the Swiss People’s Party (UDC), under the title “Forbid the Salafist organization Lies! and put an end to the propagation of the Jihadist doctrine”. But after this vote, the State Council still has to decide, announced a statement from the Federal Assembly on the same day.

The motion requests that the Salafist organization Lies!, based in Germany, be forbidden in Switzerland, along with other organizations that pursue the same goals; it also requests that the necessary measures be taken to avoid, as far as possible, the “recruitment sessions” organized under the cover of distributions of the Quran in Swiss cities or online. “These platforms try to draw young people to Jihadism,” declared Walter Wobmann.

In itself, distributing the Quran is not a threat to the internal or external security of Switzerland, objected Minister of Defense Guy Parmelin. One year earlier, however, Lothar Janssen, president of the Swiss Institute for the Evaluation of Violence, had declared, “These people may distribute the Quran very nicely, but they are anything but nice. They are manipulators. They prepare the grounds for the radicalization of unstable people”.

On September 6, 2017, in answer to the submission of the motion, the Federal Council “proposed to reject the motion”, claiming that freedom of opinion and belief and freedom to meet and associate are fundamental rights whose restriction has to be justified by the public interest.  In order to forbid Lies! – whose goal is “a Quran in every home,”

...we do not at present have sufficient proof of the existence of an organizational structure in Switzerland,” explained the federal councilor, all the while admitting that he believes it “probable that the Lies! campaign has contributed or is contributing to the radicalization of people or their recruitment for journeys with Jihadist motives.

Where is the coherency in this?

Lies! was founded in Germany by the German Palestinian Ibrahim Abou Nagie, who founded Die wahre Religion (The True Religion) in 2005 with Pierre Vogel, another promoter of radical German Islam, “to try to raise awareness to their vision of Islam first of all among children and teenagers”, explained France24 on November 15, 2016.

In the fall of 2011, Abou Nagie began the free distribution of Qurans in Germany, with the support of a media campaign and the goal of distributing 25 million. The organization has since spread to all of Europe. Allow us to recall that on November 11, 2016, German authorities decided to forbid The True Religion for disturbing the public order. On November 15, a vast police operation conducted in 60 cities throughout the country searched 200 apartments and offices of the Salafist organization Die wahre Religion, that was found guilty of recruiting young people, under the cover of religious instruction, for the terrorist Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.