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24 April 2017 13:30 (South Africa)

Forget cookoo clocks and Heidi. UN says new Swiss minaret ban smacks of discrimination

The UN has now labelled Switzerland's ban on new minarets "clearly discriminatory", deeply divisive and the product of "anti-foreigner scare-mongering." The Swiss FM admitted his government was now concerned about how the ban would affect the country's image. Du-uh. The Swiss government has sought to defend the ban as one aimed at improving integration and fighting extremism. The sound you hear is some serious head-scratching, especially since the country is not exactly overrun by minarets – there are apparently only four in the country now. The real Swiss fear seems clear: wealthy Arab tourists might now rethink spending their oil wealth in Geneva and other Swiss cities. Sweden, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, has already said the UN should reconsider its presence in Geneva, where it employs thousands of people and holds hundreds of conferences each year. For more, read the AP

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