Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Swiss Muslims plan to Build the Largest Mosque

Swiss Muslims plan to Build the Largest Mosque

 Center for Islamic Council of Switzerland (ICCS) is planning to build the country's largest mosque in the capital, Bern. ICCS is currently trying to raise funds to several Gulf states to make it happen. The construction of mosques and Muslims worship the activity center Switzerland is estimated to cost 20 million francs, or 21 million U.S. dollars.

The building of this mosque consists of three floors. In addition to the prayer room that can accommodate more than 500 people, the building also has conference rooms, education room, shop, parking spaces, basements, and garden. In page on Monday (16 / 1), President of the Islamic Council of Switzerland, Nicolas Blancho, in a local newspaper said his visit to Kuwait and Qatar, Munday last, for raising construction funds.

Last year, as president of ICCS Blancho also visited Kuwait and Qatar. He also met with businessmen and officials in that country. Besides talking about the aid plan of the mosque, a man 28 years was also talking about the exchange of Islamic sciences.

Persistence Blancho Islamic broadcast in the country is indeed remarkable cheese. In November 2009, Blancho get resistance from the Swiss government on the plans. Local officials issued a referendum to ban the establishment of a mosque minaret on the grounds will disrupt the community. However, he did not retreat and continue to run the project to be completed a few more years.

In addition to building the largest mosque, ICCS also have various other Islamic development projects, such as establishing an Islamic school in Switzerland and travel agency hajj and umrah to Mecca and Medina.

Swiss Muslim groups joined in the ICCS was established two and a half years ago by a small group of young converts native Switzerland. The presence of Swiss Muslim groups are also a form of struggle against a referendum banning the activity of Muslims in the country. Currently, the ICCS has 2,000 members, and has organized several activities of Muslim activity in Bern. According to 2001 census data, the number of Muslims in Switzerland has reached five percent of the total eight million inhabitants of Switzerland.


The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS) is trying to raise enough funds in the Gulf states to enable the construction of a 20-million franc ($21 million) prayer centre in the capital Bern.

With three storeys, the planned mosque would be the biggest in the country. In addition to a prayer room for 270 men and 174 women, plans show that the building would have conference and training rooms, shops, underground parking and a garden.

The president of the Council, Nicolas Blancho, confirmed his fundraising activities in Kuwait and Qatar to newspapers SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche on Sunday, although he said the organisation has not received any donations yet.

“For the time being, we’re just building relationships of trust with potential sponsors,” said Blancho, adding that searching for donors is a long process.

Last year, the president of ICCS visited Kuwait and Qatar several times where he met with “businessmen and high level statesmen”, not just to talk about money, "but also to have intellectual exchanges,” explained the 28-year-old Swiss.

Blancho said he also presented to his interlocutors the council’s idea of launching a popular initiative to counter the ban on the construction of minarets that was approved in a referendum in November 2009.

Aside from the massive mosque, the ICCS also has other smaller projects, such as founding an Islamic school in Switzerland, and setting up a travel agency for pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina.

According to the Swiss convert, his contacts in Gulf countries are financially clean and any donations would be made within a legal framework. However, ICCS has never previously made its financial resources public, says the SonntagsZeitung.

ICCS mainly represents orthodox Sunni Muslims. It was founded two and a half years ago by a small group of young Swiss converts to Islam in the light of the referendum to ban the construction of minarets.

ICCS has about 2,000 members, and has organized several controversial rallies in Bern. At its latest demonstration in October, the organisation chose a symbol reminiscent of the Jewish Star of David to draw parallels between the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany and Muslims in the Alpine country of today. The move infuriated the Jewish community.

1. Muslims account for just 5% of Switzerland's population
2. A Muslim woman wearing a niqab attends a protest against islamophobia and racism organized by the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland in Bern

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