Anti-Islam posters 'threaten public peace' in Switzerland
Anti-Islam posters 'threaten public peace' in Switzerland
Friday, October 9,2009 13:39
Switzerland's Commission Against Racism said Wednesday that an anti-Islam poster campaign by a far-right party defamed the country's Muslim minority and could threaten public peace.

"The commission believes that this could threaten social cohesion and public peace," the government commission said in a statement.

The Swiss People's Party has unveiled a campaign poster depicting a woman wearing a burka against a background of a Swiss flag upon which several minarets ressembling missiles were erected.

It is aimed at getting the population to vote for a ban on minarets in Switzerland in a referendum on the issue in November.

The commission said it found that the posters "feed prejudices, are over-simplistic and presents Islam overall in an unfavourable manner."

They "suggest that the Muslim minority living in Switzerland represents a danger" and send the message that the Muslim population is seeking to dominate the Swiss people, it noted.

"This is equivalent to defamation of Switzerland's peaceful Muslim population," added the commission.

The commission statement came after several city authorities sought guidance on whether to allow the posters to be put up.

The cities of Basel and Lausanne have already decided to ban the posters ahead of the commission's guidance.

More than 310,000 of Switzerland's 7.5 million population are Muslims, making Islam the second biggest religion in the country after Christianity.