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USCIRF Regrets Swiss Minaret Ban


December 4, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the US Commission on International Religious Freedom expressed profound regret over the adoption of an initiative in Switzerland that institutes an outright prohibition on the construction of minarets.

"The atmospherics surrounding passage of the initiative were marked by appalling demonstrations of bigotry, and this, when coupled with the fact that it institutes an outright ban directed only at Muslims, raises serious questions about how the initiative may contribute to suppressing freedom of religion and discriminating against Muslims on account of their beliefs," said Commission Chair Leonard Leo.

USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives. USCIRF"s principal responsibilities are to review the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress.

To interview a USCIRF Commissioner, contact Tom Carter, Communications Director at tcarter@uscirf.gov, or (202) 523-3257.