Swiss Islamic Bodies to Merge
Geneva: The Federation of Swiss Islamic Organizations (FIDS) and the Coordination of Islamic Organizations in Switzerland (KIOS) announced recently their intention to merge and create a “religious parliament” in order to represent the Muslims of Switzerland and receive official recognition from the state. Andreas Tunger-Zanetti, specialist of Islam and coordinator of the Center for Religious Studies at the University of Lucerne, believes however that there are still too many obstacles in the way before recognition on the state level would be possible. He highlights especially the low degree of institutional organization in Islam, while also pointing out that the issue concerns perhaps only 15% of “Muslims” in Switzerland, i.e. those who practice their faith. Moreover, given the ethnic cleavages among Muslim immigrant groups which still persist, he states that it is still too early to begin speaking of a unified movement.