Again and again I have to make the same points. (Why? Because no one is listening. Nevertheless, it is worth the attempt.) So here goes, again: Islam is not a race. Concern about Muslim immigration is not necessarily racist at all, but may stem from genuine concern about attempts by a future Muslim majority to impose Sharia on the country. By all historical accounts, this is a perfectly legitimate concern. From swissinfo, with thanks to Nicolei and Ali Dashti:
The Muslim community in Switzerland and the Federal Commission against Racism have condemned a controversial advert about Muslim birth rates.
But they have decided not to make an official complaint against the advert, which was placed by a group linked to the rightwing Swiss People’s Party.
Publication of the advert comes less than three weeks before the country is due to vote on easing restrictions on Swiss citizenship for second- and third-generation foreigners.
“Thanks to automatic naturalisations — Muslims soon a majority?” screamed the advert, which appeared in the weekend editions of several Swiss newspapers.
It went on to suggest that the number of Muslims in Switzerland was doubling every ten years, and that they would make up 72 per cent of the population by 2040.
The advert was published by the “Committee against Mass Naturalisations”, which is using the address of Ulrich SchlÃ¼er, a People’s Party parliamentarian.
The People’s Party has denied responsibility for the advert, and says it does not finance the group concerned.
However, the party — which is against easing the naturalisation process — did welcome the advert.
“We think this advert is positive because it’s important to inform the population ahead of the vote on September 26. It’s helping us in our campaign,” said People’s Party spokesman Roman JÃ¤ggi.
JÃ¤ggi also insisted that the content was in no way anti-foreigner.
The Muslim community in Switzerland has condemned the advert but said on Monday that it would not make a formal complaint.
Farhad Afshar, a professor at Bern University and a leading member of Switzerland’s Muslim community, told swissinfo that it would be better to challenge the advert with political arguments.
“But we Muslims have been hurt by this advert,” said Afshar, who is also head of the Coordination of Islamic Organisations in Switzerland.