Update: Legislation to Recognize Non-Christian Faiths Voted Down

November 30, 2003

Source: Neue Z�rcher Zeitung


On November 30, 2003 Neue Z�rcher Zeitung reported, "Proposed new laws that would have led to the official recognition of non-Christian faiths, including Islam, have been turned down in canton Zurich. Some 64 per cent of voters said no to recognizing faiths other than the three official religions in the canton...Ren� Zihlmann, President of the Swiss Roman Catholic Commission, said people voted no on Sunday mainly because of an inflammatory campaign ran by the People’s Party ahead of the poll. Zihlmann said the party's drive against the vote instilled a climate of fear and misunderstanding about religious practices. The People's Party claimed that cantonal contributions - which are given to all recognised religions - would be used by Muslims for fundamentalist religious teaching...The three recognised Churches and the country’s anti-racism commission heavily criticised the campaign. They say they have maintained a constructive dialogue with the city’s Jewish and Muslim communities for many years."