Anti-minaret petition in Switzerland to go to national referendum

Bern, Switzerland — Swiss nationalists say they have enough signatures to force a nationwide referendum on whether to ban the construction of Muslim call-to-prayer towers next to mosques.

Ulrich Schlueer, co-president of the Initiative Committee, said that 103,000 signatures have been verified, exceeding the required minimum of 100,000.

If approved, the referendum would enshrine in the Swiss constitution a ban on the minarets. The organizers say they are acting against the political spread of Islam. Opponents say a ban would violate religious freedom.

It will likely take months to schedule the vote.