Muslim Hate of Switzerland

Zurich recommends ban on 'radicalized' Koran distribution campaign

May 5, 2017
By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi | ZURICH

Zurich's public safety office on Friday recommended towns in Switzerland's most populous canton ban a campaign that hands out Korans in public spaces, describing it as a front for incitement of radical activities including jihadist involvement.

The recommendation clashed with an assessment by federal intelligence services published three days before which concluded a ban on the campaign's Koran distribution would lead to a "strong conflict with the exercise of religious freedom".

Zurich's security department urged communities not to provide a public platform for the Islamic "READ!" campaign, which it said had ties to jihadis in Switzerland and had a number of members being prosecuted by the attorney general.

"The community is not obliged to allow public space as a platform for spreading views that are irreconcilable with our society's basic and fundamental values," Zurich's Security Department wrote, citing a legal opinion it had sought.

"Such actions may thus be prohibited within the current legal framework."

The READ campaign could not be reached for comment.

The Association of Islamic Organisations in Zurich said it did not expect any negative consequences for the Muslim community, as the measure applied only to a specific campaign.

"We generally prefer individuals to be informed about Islam in mosques or for members to engage in local dialogue," the association said in an emailed statement.

The "READ!" campaign was initiated by Germany's DWR "True Religion" group in 2011 with the goal of distributing 25 million Korans across Europe.

But DWR was banned in Germany last November for radicalizing youngsters and "propagating extremist ideologies and supporting terrorist organizations under the pretext of Islam", according to German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

The organization had persuaded about 140 people in Germany to join militants in Iraq and Syria, authorities said.

De Maiziere said at the time the group's distribution of Korans and other religious material especially to young people was not the reason for the ban.

Swiss authorities say more than 80 people have left Switzerland to fight alongside jihadis.

Zurich's security department urged the Swiss federal government to ban the "True Religion" group under new national intelligence laws that take effect on Sept. 1, and recommended other closely related groups be prevented from distributing Korans in public.

The Federal Intelligence Service, however, said it would be very difficult to forbid the group nationwide because of religious freedom laws.

A spokesman for Zurich's security department said the measure was a matter of safety policy and did not affect religious freedom.

witzerland probes top Muslim leader over jihadist propaganda

The German national was suspected of creating "for propaganda purposes" a video from a trip into parts of war-ravaged Syria, "without having explicitly distanced himself from Al-Qaeda activities".

By: AFP - Geneva
November 26, 2016

Swiss federal prosecutors said on Saturday a criminal probe into suspected jihadist propaganda has been expanded to include the leader of the country’s largest Islamic organisation. The office of Switzerland’s attorney general confirmed in an email to AFP that Nicolas Blancho, of the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS), was under investigation.

The ICCS slammed the move as “political” and said it was ready to “counter the accusations in a courtroom.” Prosecutors opened the case last December, charging that an ICCS board member — German national Naim Cherni- had violated “the prohibition of groups like Al-Qaeda, Islamic State and similar organisations.”

He was suspected of creating “for propaganda purposes” a video from a trip into parts of war-ravaged Syria, “without having explicitly distanced himself from Al-Qaeda activities” in the country, last year’s statement said.

On Saturday, the attorney general’s office said its probe “has been expanded to the president of the ICCS and to one other ICCS committee member,” who was identified by the organisation as its spokesman, Qaasim Illi. In an interview with the NZZ daily, Attorney General Michael Lauber said the case was “of high priority, because we want to know how far freedom of expression goes when it comes to criminal propaganda for a terrorist organisation.”

Cherni’s video included an interview with a senior member of the jihad umbrella organisation Jaysh al-Fath (“Army of Conquest”), which counts as a member the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, which has renamed itself Fatah al-Sham. He insisted the film was a documentary and was not meant as propaganda.

The ICCS has continued to promote the film, which remains accessible on YouTube. It has been viewed more than 100,000 times over the past year. Lauber told NZZ he hoped the case would go before Switzerland’s federal criminal court next year.

Forced underage marriages rise in Switzerland

August 8, 2016

The number of forced marriages involving minors has increased significantly in Switzerland, with a specialist Swiss website reporting 119 cases so far this year, compared with fewer than 60 for all of 2015.

According to (a website focused on forced marriages) of particular concern is that of the 119 cases, 26 were with girls under the age of 16, most of whom came from Iraq, Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Somalia. This figure is five times the total number reported between 2005 and 2015.

One case involved a ten-year-old Somali girl at a Swiss school where a social worker discovered that the girl was married, Anu Sivaganesan, president of, told the NZZ am Sonntag.

This is not just a consequence of more refugees, she said. Society – in particular specialists such as doctors, social workers and teachers – was becoming increasingly aware of the problem and the advice centre was gaining recognition among the public, she said.

In 2012, the Swiss parliament passed a series of measures, increasing jail sentences to a maximum of five years for people found guilty of coercing others into a marriage. This applies regardless of whether the marriage was agreed outside Switzerland.

In addition, Swiss registrars must refuse to officiate when they come across forced marriages and have to report suspected incidents to the justice authorities.

The minimum age for marriage in Switzerland is 18.

Four Iraqis charged in alleged Swiss ISIS cell
OCT 16, 2015

Swiss authorities have charged four Iraqi nationals with planning a terrorist attack in Europe on behalf of the Islamic State group.

Though details of the planned attack were sketchy, Switzerland’s attorney general confirmed on Friday that IS “was to claim responsibility (for) these plans if successful”.

The four Iraqis, ranging in ages from 29 to 34, face charges of participating in or supporting a criminal organisation and preparing a terrorist attack. They also are accused of multiple counts of depicting violence and illegally staying in the country.

“Given the international dimension, various countries are affected by this case,” authorities said in a statement. “The Office of the Attorney General is accordingly in contact with the law enforcement authorities of various states. The cooperation with the US Department of Justice is particularly close.”

The cooperation marks the first time that Swiss and US officials have activated a 2006 treaty that calls for establishing joint investigation teams in the fight against terrorism.

Police first arrested three of the four Iraqis, ranging in age from 29 to 34, in northeastern Switzerland in March and April 2014. They have been in custody since then. The criminal investigation expanded to include a fourth Iraqi in July 2015.

He is suspected of traveling to Syria to bring radio equipment to IS, the attorney general’s office said, and of trying to hide his Facebook connections to a high-ranking IS member.

Intercepted calls

After a Western counterpart intercepted the suspects’ phone calls, the tips went to the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service, which then alerted the Federal Criminal Police.

The three Iraqis who were initially arrested had allegedly helped about 40 jihadists in Switzerland travel to join IS in the regions it controls within Syria and Iraq. They also allegedly tried to obtain toxic gas and explosives to mount attacks.

Swiss investigators have been working on the case with US and other European authorities.

One of the four men had joined a predecessor organisation of IS in 2004 and made contacts in Syria in 2011 with the Syrian branch of IS that included another one of the suspects, the attorney general’s office said.

“After entering Switzerland at the beginning of 2012, he maintained contact with this group and forged plans for attacks with another accused and a third party who was to travel to Switzerland from abroad,” the statement said.

“The three accused individuals also aided and abetted smuggling further IS followers to Europe, assumed coordination tasks, disseminated propaganda for the actions of the terrorist organisation, gave instructions and also provided operative advice amongst other things,” it said.

Gadhafi Calls for Jihad Against Switzerland

The Wall Street Journal
FEBRUARY 26, 2010

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi called on Thursday for a "jihad" or armed struggle against Switzerland, which he called an infidel state that was destroying mosques.

"Any Muslim in any part of the world who works with Switzerland is an apostate, is against [the Prophet] Muhammad, God and the Koran," Col. Gadhafi said during a meeting in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi to mark the prophet's birthday.

"The masses of Muslims must go to all airports in the Islamic world and prevent any Swiss plane landing, to all harbors and prevent any Swiss ships docking, inspect all shops and markets to stop any Swiss goods being sold," Col. Gadhafi said.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry said it had no comment on Col. Gadhafi's remarks.

The Libyan leader's comments are the latest move in a long-running clash between Switzerland and Libya. In July 2008, Libya detained two Swiss businessmen, after Geneva police arrested Col. Gadhafi's son Hannibal for allegedly beating two servants.

A Libyan court later convicted the two businessmen for violation of residency laws, a charge they denied. Swiss diplomats charged that the move was retaliation for the arrest of Hannibal Gadhafi.

Then, last November, Swiss voters approved a referendum to ban the construction of minarets on mosques. Some analysts in Switzerland said they believed the strong vote in favor of the ban—58% of voters supported the referendum—stemmed in part from resentment in Switzerland over the issue of the businessmen in Libya. Soon after the election, Libya's government-controlled news agency Jana branded the vote "racist."

But while the vote raised the ire of political and religious leaders in the Muslim world, it hasn't generated violence or a backlash against Swiss interests abroad, as the Swiss government had originally feared.

After the vote, Swiss efforts to convince Tripoli to release the men failed, and political observers said Libya's continued refusal to release them was in reaction to the minaret vote. Earlier this week, Libya freed one of the men after a court overturned his conviction on appeal, and he has returned to Switzerland. The other man, Max Göldi, the country head in Libya for Swiss engineering group ABB Ltd., has begun a four-month prison sentence in Libya.

Bern has restricted the granting of Swiss visas to Libyan citizens. That, in turn, has prompted Tripoli to block the entry of some European citizens into Libya. Tripoli has stopped issuing visas to citizens of the Schengen passport-free zone, which includes most of the European Union as well as Switzerland.

On Thursday, Italy said Libya may renege on a deal to help control the flow of undocumented immigrants into the EU because of the visa spat with Switzerland. Libya is often used as a departure point by such immigrants for southern Europe, particularly Italy.

Italy, which has close business links with Libya, has accused Switzerland of misusing the Schengen agreement and taking its members "hostage" by instituting the ban, which had forced other Schengen nations to bar travel by Libyans as well.

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said the quarrel put the Schengen zone at risk and could further strain relations with Libya. Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf met with EU ministers on Thursday to discuss possible solutions to the travel situation.