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Muslims in the WestFrom Sojourners to Citizens$
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Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148053

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148053.001.0001

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Islam in Switzerland: Fragmented Accommodation in a Federal Country

Islam in Switzerland: Fragmented Accommodation in a Federal Country

(p.72) 4 Islam in Switzerland: Fragmented Accommodation in a Federal Country
Muslims in the West

Hans Mahnig

Oxford University Press

Traditionally a multicultural society, since the end of the 19th-century Switzerland has also become a country of immigration. Since 1945, it has had one of the highest immigration rates in Europe. Today, about one-fifth of its population is foreign born—a figure twice as high as that of the United States and considerably higher than that of Canada. Despite its multicultural character, Switzerland has not yet recognized that it is an immigration country, and it has no real immigrant policy on the federal level. Nevertheless, in practically all cantons religious communities are recognized as corporations under public law, a status that gives them the right to receive public subsidies. The Jewish community is recognized by only four of the twenty-six cantons in this way, Islam by none of them. Unlike the Jews, Muslim immigrants in recent years have begun to challenge the traditional relationship between state and churches in several ways.

Keywords:   Switzerland, immigration, Europe, United States, Canada, Islam, Muslim immigrants

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