Of course, the easy way to fight “Islamophobia” would be for peaceful Muslims to exert all their efforts to compel jihadists to stop committing violence in the name of Islam. Then “Islamophobia” would cease. But for this “expert” — and for the Swiss government — the responsibility for it lies solely with non-Muslims. It never seems to occur to either that Muslims could or should do something to gain infidel good will.
“OSCE expert concerned by Swiss Islamophobia,” from Swissinfo (thanks to John Doe):
The Swiss Muslim community is better integrated than those in other European countries, but suffers from an “acute perception problem”, says an Islamophobia expert.
Turkish diplomat Ã–mÃ¼r Orhun, the representative of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe fighting intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, was speaking at the end of a three-day visit to Switzerland.
Under his OSCE mandate, Orhun was invited by the Swiss authorities to gain a better understanding of the situation and expectations of Muslims living in Switzerland.
Addressing a news conference in Bern on Wednesday, Orhun said the Swiss Muslim community was relatively better off as far as education and financial status were concerned, but there was a major issue regarding perception.
“The mainstream Swiss population has a growing apprehension of Muslims in the country which leads to a sense of fear in the Muslim community of not being welcome, alienated and rejected,” he explained.
And I suppose this apprehension arose entirely spontaneously, ex nihilo?
“The perception problem of mutual fear and anxiety between the non-Muslim and Muslim communities could be easily corrected by small gestures provided there is goodwill on both sides. Otherwise this fault line could further increase in the future,” he told swissinfo.
Orhun also criticised political initiatives such as the rightwing Swiss People’s Party campaigns to force nationwide votes on banning the construction of minarets and on expelling criminal foreigners, which he said were “creating a very bad atmosphere”.
Yep. Got to keep those criminal foreigners.
In June 2007 the Turkish diplomat said he was “astonished” that such developments were taking place in a country like Switzerland, which had been “an advocate of protection of human rights elsewhere in the world”.
Such as, perhaps, in Saudi Arabia and Iran?
Orhun said his attitude hadn’t changed since his visit, but he was glad that the people he spoke to held similar positions to him.
“Now the elections are over I hope there will be more quietness and a responsible attitude to handle this initiative,” he declared.
“Minarets are an integral part of mosques, as bell towers are parts of churches. And both of them are humanity’s common heritage,” he said.
Orhun added that Muslims moving to Switzerland were disproportionately affected by Swiss immigration laws and regulations.
“There has been international criticism that some Swiss laws are discriminatory, especially the 2006 Aliens or Foreigners Act, creating two tiers of naturalisation and family reunification,” he explained.
Note to Swiss: change your laws to favor the immigrants. If you are perceived as trying to preserve the cultural character of your country, there might be…difficulties.
The OSCE representative has already carried out ten similar visits to other countries in Europe, including Britain, France, Spain, Norway and Denmark, and plans to submit his report on Switzerland early next year.
His “well-rounded” programme included meetings with senior officials at federal and cantonal levels, representatives of the Muslim community and cabinet ministers Pascal Couchepin, Micheline Calmy-Rey and Christoph Blocher.
Earlier this year Switzerland was accused of discriminatory tendencies in a hard-hitting report by the United Nations special rapporteur on racism, Doudou DiÃ¨ne.
He accused the authorities of a lack of any “coherent and resolute political and legal strategy against racism and xenophobia”.
In reaction, the government said it agreed that racism was a problem and added that it was aware that more had to be done at the federal, cantonal and communal levels.
Yes, evidently they’re aware that it’sall up to them. How reassuring that must be for Mr. Orhun, the Islamophobia expert.