Switzerland: The town of Wangen appeals against the building of a minaret

Source: FSSPX News


 The Commune of Wangen, near Olten, has launched an appeal with the cantonal administrative tribunal against the building of a minaret in the village. The 6-meter high tower was to rise over the Islamic Cultural Center of Olten (canton of Solothurn), located in the nearby village of Wangen. The department for buildings and justice had granted the building permission on July 13, judging that the building could be used as a place of worship, that the minaret was but “an exterior symbol”, and that its height did not exceed the authorized limit. Consequently permission had been granted, on condition that the call to prayer was not made either by a muezzin or through a loud-speaker.

Some ten kilometers from Wangen, in the town of Langenthal in the Bern canton, there has also been controversy regarding plans to build a 6-meter high minaret. A petition with 35,000 signatures was handed to the town council on August 16. An official of the committee Stopp Minarett explained that its action targeted the symbol of the minaret in as much as it was the sign of the progress of Islam, and not the Muslims as such. The Islamic community Xhamia, who are behind the project, stressed that its members were European Muslims imbued with a spirit of tolerance, and with a desire to leave their cellars and back-yards and come out in the open.

Sensitive to these negative reactions, and because of the success encountered last year, the association of Muslims in Argau have decided to organize another open day at mosques. Seven places of worship in the canton of Argau will welcome visitors on September 9. The participants will be able to obtain direct information on Islam and the Muslims living in Switzerland. No prescription regarding clothing will be imposed for entry into the mosques, except that the visitors will have to remove their shoes, and avoid provoking behavior, specified the organizers.