SHAFAQNA – Calls by a far-right politician for banning Muslim refugees in Switzerland have been criticized by several politicians, who considered his approach “discriminatory”.
“It’s discriminatory, resolves nothing and contributes to an atmosphere of hate and witch hunting,” Martine Brunschwig Graf, head of the federal commission against racism, was quoted as saying by the Tribune de Genève.
According to an online report from Blick, Walter Wobmann, Swiss People’s Party (SVP) MP from Solothurn, has called for banning refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Wobmann’s calls followed the bloody attack on the French satirist magazine Charlie Hebdo last week, that left 12 killed, two of whom Muslims.
The SVP member, who was behind the successful campaign to prohibit the construction of minarets in Switzerland, warned that the government’s approach towards asylum seekers may foster extremism in the European country.
The politician’s anti Muslim comments were seen “unacceptable” by Carlo Sommaruga, federal MP from Geneva and a member of the socialist party.
Several SVP members have also distanced themselves from Wobmann’s calls.
“We don’t need to fall into this debate without end,” said Claude-Alain Voiblet, SVP MP from the canton of Vaud.
Yet, Voiblet warned that Switzerland is not an “island of security” that should brace for a similar attack.
Switzerland is home to some 400,000 Muslims, representing 5 percent of the country’s nearly eight million people.
There are nearly 160 mosques and prayer rooms in Switzerland, mainly in disused factories and warehouses.