A poll has revealed that a large majority of Swiss citizens — 70 per cent — would be “disturbed” if the country’s Muslim population were to increase.
The survey, which was conducted by the publishing firm Tamedia, is the first of its kind in Switzerland, and shows the older generations is particularly concerned with the growth of Islam in the country: 75 per cent of those aged over 65 feel negative about an increase in the Muslim population, newspaper 24 heures reports.
Supporters of the anti-mass migration Swiss People’s Party (SVP) were also strongly against an increase in the Muslim population, with 93 per cent against the further growth of Islam in the country.
72 per cent of “centrists” felt the same way, as did a significant minority — 38 per cent — of supporters of the left-wing Green and Socialist parties.
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Christophe Monnot, a researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences of Religions at the University of Lausanne and member of the Research Group on Islam in Switzerland (GRAY), said the “internal tensions that shake Islam reflect in the public space and make this religion all the more visible.”
Monnot cited radical Islamic activist Nora Illi who protested the full-face Islamic veil ban enacted by the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino last year as an example of this.
Ms. Illi also recently protested the banning of the Islamic veil in Austria, being arrested along with several others by police in Vienna.
Switzerland has had its share of problems with radical Islamic extremism in recent years, including a radical imam who called on believers to murder moderate Muslims and was later arrested.