Alevis and the dilemma of the ban of minarets in Switzerland
Virginia Suter Reich (ZHAW)
Paper short abstract:
Paper long abstract:
While in November 2009 the majority of Swiss people voted for a ban of minarets, Swiss Alevi organizations faced difficulties in taking a clear position towards this political issue. On the one side, they agree with the opponents of the ban and qualify it as a threat against religious freedom. On the other side, they support the voting result, as they interpret it as a clear statement against political Islam. My paper attempts to explore the Swiss Alevi organizations' ambiguous attitude towards the "minaret-initiative". I will relate their position to their strategies of incorporation in Switzerland, to their political and societal situation in Turkey, as well as their transnational activities within a European network of Alevi associations. I argue that their attitude towards the ban of minarets reflects, both, the Alevis' specific position in the religious landscape in Switzerland, and, their strategies of transnational politics of recognition.