In Switzerland, Will There Soon Be Muslim Chaplains in the Army?

Source: FSSPX News

With the increasing number of young Muslim immigrants in the Swiss army, especially from the Balkans and Turkey, several politicians and military authorities have mentioned the possibility of hiring Muslim chaplains.

On August 23, 2017, the Federal Council even officially declared that “if they cannot recruit Muslim specialists, the military chaplaincy risks becoming unable to fulfill its mission satisfactorily for all the members of the military”. The Swiss government pointed out that “the number of Muslim soldiers has increased and that it is considering providing them with spiritual assistance”, in the name of “freedom of belief and conscience”, which is “a constitutional right for every member of the army”.

This possibility led the UDC national councilor Jean-Luc Addor, from the Valais, to file a parliamentary motion at the end of September 2017, for “the spiritual assistance made available to the military to be entrusted exclusively to Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Christian Catholic chaplains.” The Valaisan councilor said there is a risk that “the presence of Muslim chaplains might transform our army into a center for Islamic proselytism, and even a source of recruits for Jihad soldiers.” For the Waldensian socialist Géraldine Savary, quoted by cath.ch on October 9, 2017, Jean-Luc Addor’s remarks are “a scandalous oversimplification”. She calls for respect for religion and the private life of soldiers. Another female politician, Lisa Mazzone, denounced what she calls “pure discrimination”, a “discriminating attack that is harmful for the country’s cohesion”.

Referring to these indignant reactions from the Swiss political class, the blogger Philippe Boehler recalled on his webpage on October 8, 2017, the declarations of Omar Bakri Muhammad, a British imam who announced in 2007: “One day, the Muslims you have enrolled in your European police and your armies will rise up. And they will crush you.” He added that “the majority of our political and military leaders is unaware of the true nature of Islam”. Deputies “like Jean-Luc Addor or the former national councilor and current State Councilor Oskar Freysinger have a better knowledge of the matter.” That is why “they are called Fascists… or right-wing extremists”.