16 May 2017

New mosque spotlights Swiss fracture lines

A new prototype for mosques in Switzerland – one meant to blend in and to minimise any possible offence – has arisen in a place that was ground zero in a bruising fight over the construction of minarets.

The new mosque that has opened in Wil,external link Switzerland, conforms to the 2009 Swiss voter-approved constitutional ban on the construction of new minarets, reflecting a significant local-led effort to overcome the European backlash against a growing Muslim population.

The weekend-long dedication culminates a years-long effort by Muslim groups in Switzerland to overcome resistance to putting in a new mosque in Wil, the third-biggest city in canton St Gallen.

The resistance is a reflection of Europeans’ fractured views toward migration, Islam, nationalism and European unity. Due to the ban on construction of the iconic mosque towers, Muslims in Wil had to adapt their blueprints. [swissinfo.ch] Read more