Switzerland: Islam wishes to be recognized as a public interest in the Canton of Vaud

Source: FSSPX News

The Vaudese Union of Muslim Associations (UVAM), which groups together about 10,000 Muslims, would like to be recognized as a public interest like the Catholics, the Reformed Protestants and the Israelite community.  According to Pascal Gemperli, vice-president, this step aims at bettering the visibility of the Muslims and of the UVAM, in order to “reinforce confidence and understanding among the Vaudese people.”  Being recognized as a public interest would also allow them, among other advantaged, to receive subsidies from the State.  To get to this point, the Muslims of the canton, to which the city of Lausanne belongs, must first submit a petition for recognition of the status of public interest to the Service for Communes and Institutional Relations.  The file must then be submitted for study to see if the association fulfills the legal conditions.  The procedure is long and must, under the form of a bill, pass through the Grand Counsel to end up eventually in a popular referendum.  A perspective that is nonetheless not improbable, since in 2009, during the referendum of popular initiative, the canton of Vaud was one of the rare cantons to vote against the interdiction of minarets, with only 47% for the interdiction, compared to the 57,7% of the confederation overall.

The FEDEC-VD, Roman Catholic Ecclesiastical Federation of the Canton of Vaud, made known by the voice of its president: “It is a positive thing that these communities feel that they take part in the Vaudese society and seek to join the other communities by means of a status of public law”, thus confirming the comments of representatives of the Israelite and Protestant communities who underline that it is “natural and important for all the communities that desire it to be able to ask for recognition”, and that their communities are “certainly not opposed”. (Sources: apic/lausanne hebdo – DICI#235 May 28, 2011)