23 December 2016

Who funds Swiss mosques?

Swiss mosques and Muslim associations are in the spotlight after concerns by parliamentarians over the opacity of their funding and possible foreign influence.

“It’s na├»ve to say there is not a problem with the financing of Swiss mosques,” Doris Fiala, a centre-right Radical parliamentarian, told swissinfo.ch. “We have no clue who is financing what. We don’t know what money is coming in. There is no transparency.”

Last week she handed in two motions to be discussed in Bern, each backed by 25 parliamentarians, which urge the authorities to improve what she describes as ‘total opacity’ surrounding the funding of religious communities in Switzerland, in particular mosques and Muslim associations.

Fiala wants every association that benefits from foreign money to be listed in the commercial register so that their accounts can be supervised by an independent cantonal authority and auditor. She also wants religious foundations to become more transparent by forcing them to give more precise details on their goals when they are listed, and to be sanctioned when they do not comply. [swissinfo.ch] Read more