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Muslim cemetery demand sparks debate
by Simon Bradley
The call for Islamic cemeteries in every canton by a Swiss Muslim umbrella group has provoked a wave of reactions.
Swiss Islam specialists say the legal strategy proposed by Farhad Afshar, president of the Coordination of Islamic Organisations in Switzerland, is the wrong approach to an inexistent problem.
On Sunday Afshar told the Sonntag newspaper he was preparing a legal case concerning freedom of religion after the Bernese commune of Köniz recently rejected a separate burial ground for Muslims.
"With this strategy we are turning something into a problem that isn't one really – it's a clumsy approach," said Stéphane Lathion, head of a research group on Islam in Switzerland at Lausanne University.
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