Supreme Court upholds decision on Islam centre

The Federal Court in Lausanne confirmed a decision by the Fribourg cantonal parliament to ban a public vote on a training centre for Imams Keystone

Switzerland’s highest court has declared invalid a controversial proposal to close an Islamic training centre at Fribourg University.

This content was published on December 14, 2016 - 14:48

The judges ruled that the initiative by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party was in violation of anti-discrimination rules in the Swiss constitution, according to a court statement on Wednesday.

It said that the promoters of the initiative justified their proposal mainly with anti-Islamic reasons.

The Fribourg cantonal parliament last year decided not to let voters have the final say on the initiative, prompting the People’s Party to appeal.

The Centre for Islam and Society, which opened officially in June, is part of Fribourg University’s faculty of theology. It initially planned to offer training courses for imams in Switzerland, but later decided to abandon the idea.

The local People’s Party said it had taken note of the verdict. The initiative’s backers had argued that it was not up to the state to offer theological training for a religion not recognised under public law in Switzerland.

They collected about 9,000 signatures – 50% more than needed – to force a cantonal vote.

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