A group of Swiss Muslim organizations are hoping to set up a national parliament of sorts. The Umma Schweiz, as the representative body would be called, could be up and running by 2013. But not all of Switzerland’s 400,000 Muslims are convinced it’s a good idea.
ZURICH – Some of Switzerland’s leading Islamic organizations want to set up a single national body that will allow the country’s approximately 400,000 Muslims to “speak with one voice,” as community leader Farhad Afshar puts it. But the proposal has raised eyebrows, as much as anything for the term used to describe it: a “Parliament.”
Afshar, a Bern-based sociologist and president of a Muslim umbrella group called KIOS, is one of several organization heads involved in setting up the “Umma Schweiz,” as the body is to be called. The Arabic word ummah refers to a Muslim community or the Muslim world.