The Structure of Islam in Switzerland and the Effects of the Swiss Minaret Ban

Author(s) : Savannah D. Dodd

Source :


« In order to understand the passage of the legislation against the construction of minarets in Switzerland in 2009, the historical and political context must first be elucidated. Historically, the internal religious and linguistic differences across the nation play a large role in the way the Swiss have come to conceptualize the “Other”. In recent years, the processes of Muslim immigration to Switzerland since the 1960s, particularly in reference to the legislation that allowed for family regrouping in the late 1970s, have had a profound impact on the social and cultural composition of Swiss urban spaces, including the growing presence of Muslim institutions. This article aims to contextualize the minaret ban within these historical and political developments in order to offer potential explanations for its approval. Additionally, it attempts to explain the implications of the ban for the Swiss Muslim community and for the way that secularism is applied in the Swiss context. »


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