A Swiss army lieutenant has been declared a security risk by the Swiss federal constitutional court and has decided that he should be kept away from all confidential information. Gibril Muhammad Zwicker converted to Islam three years ago and has since become a member of the controversial Central Islamic Council of Switzerland (IZRS).
Zwicker has made a number of comments which have raised eyebrows in the top ranks of the military, ranging from supposed acceptable forms of corporal punishment for women to Islam’s being the only true religion. A conviction for the purchase and consumption of cannabis, for which he was fined 300 Swiss francs, contributed to the decision of department for the oversight of personal security in the field of information and material security (IOS) to recommend that he be suspended from all access to confidential information.
In his defense, Zwicker states that he has done nothing contrary to the military or anything that might put anyone in danger. Moreover, he feels betrayed by the army and his superiors, given that he had always correctly accomplished his duties and followed orders.
19 February 2011
The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (IZRS) has held its yearly meeting, to which the president of the IZRS Nicolas Blancho had invited a number of prominent speakers. Approximately 2000 people attended the conference, where the star of the gathering was the Kuwaiti Sheikh Mishary Rashid Al-Afasy, while around 50 people from anti-Islamic and Christian groups held protests against the conference.
Three of the invited guests in particular led to raised eyebrows at the Swiss State Office for Migration (BFM). The first of these guests was Shefqet Krasniqi, an imam from Pristina, who shocked the Catholic world two years ago with the comment that “Mother Teresa is in hell, as she was not a Muslim.” The second was Yusuf Estes, who was an Islamic chaplain in US prisons, and who fights against public schools for Muslim children, arguing instead for Qur’an schools. Finally, there was Yvonne Ridley, a British journalist and former Taliban hostage, who converted to Islam following her kidnapping and now supports the Muslim brotherhood.
The yearly meeting was promoted by a youtube video which shows the word “Islam” followed by other words such as “Hate,” “Attack,” “Forced Marriage,” and “Honor Killings,” after which appears “Where are our rights? Who stands up for us?” According to IZRS spokesperson Abdel Azziz Qaasim Illi, the theme of the conference was “how to bring together in harmony Islamic identity and the modern era.”
November 29, 2010
Precisely one year following the Swiss referendum banning minarets in 2009, the Swiss Islamic Central Council (IZRS) has announced that it wishes to hold another national referendum in order to remove the minaret ban from the constitution. No other Muslim organizations were consulted with regard to this plan, which had been kept secret due to tactical considerations.
Leaders of the IZRS stated that not even a ruling against Switzerland in the European Court of Human Rights would achieve would Muslims in Switzerland need, and that only way to fight the ban is by holding another referendum. Oscar Bergamin, political consultant for the IZRS, believes that there are good chances to win a second referendum, since the ban is discriminatory and unfairly singles out Muslim places of worship.
The very same day that the IZRS made their announcement, the Anti-Minaret Committee led by Ulrich Schüler of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) presented a manifesto in Berne against the Islamicization of Switzerland. The document emphasizes Switzerland’s Christian heritage and gives voice to the group’s frustration that the government has not been implementing the minaret ban, especially in the case of the Langenthal minaret project. The document goes on to denounce all practices of sharia law, and calls for all Muslims wishing to become Swiss citizens to pledge allegiance to the constitution and the laws of the country.
The controversial German Islamic preacher Pierre Vogel has surprisingly and legally entered Switzerland in order to give a talk during an educational seminar in Disentis, in the canton of Graubünden. Vogel is not considered a “hate or radical preacher” in Germany, however he had been refused entry to the country last December, though Swiss authorities state that there is no officially entry ban for him. The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (IZRS), organizers of the event in question, announced that Vogel’s participation had not been announced in other to expose the negative stigma against him “in full public view as false and unjustified.” Jonas Montani, spokesperson for the Swiss Federal Agency for Migration, stated that the prior entry refusal could not be compared with Vogel’s participation in the educational seminar.