Zurich Police secure the area in front of the Islamic centre where a gun man has in jured several people on December 19
A 24-year-old Swiss man fired at Muslim worshippers in a mosque in Zurich on December 19.
Three Muslims were injured in the Islamisches Zentrum [Islamic Centre]. The condition of the wounded worshippers aged 30, 35 and 56 were said to be improving post-surgery according to Zurich State Criminal Police chief, Christiane Lentjes Meili.
The Swiss man of Ghanaian origin committed suicide around 300 metres away from the mosque just after he allegedly shot at Muslim worshippers.
The motives of the alleged attacker are not known, however, the police have said it was not a terrorist attack. “There’s no indication of any kind of terrorist connection (to Islamic State) or an Islamic radicalisation of the suspect,” said Meili.
The Swiss police have denied any links of the perpetrator with the right-wing stating that he had a deep obsession with the occult. Meili revealed that “corresponding symbols have been found at his home”.
However, the Islamic Council of Switzerland insisted that politicians and the media must now “finally take Islamophobia seriously”. The Islamic Council added that “Islamophobia is pushed back to the margins of society, where racism and anti-Semitism once were relegated.”
Many people took to twitter condemning the attack that took place in Switzerland’s largest city. On the day of the attack @TurtleAndOposum tweeted ‘people forget to mention the “terrorist” attack in Zurich, Switzerland, was ON a mosque! Fire was opened ON praying Muslims. #Zurichshooting’. The tweet received a whopping 64 re-tweets and 52 likes.
In a referendum on February 28, that campaigned for the expulsion of “foreign criminals” the popular far-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) conspicuously displayed images of a white sheep kicking a black sheep off of what appears to be the Swiss flag. The image declared ‘Finally create security’ in German. The images were dispersed in numerous forms such as posters, newsletters, leaflets and animated billboards.
However, the initiative was rejected with 58.9% voting against dismissing “foreign criminals”. The SVP responded by saying that “according to statements made by the federal administration and those opposed to the initiative, the legislation approved by Parliament, which should be immediately put into action, will allow for the expulsion of over 3,800 foreign criminals.”
Swiss media say the mosque is attended by people from North Africa, Somalia and Eritrea. In 2009, a nationwide vote backed a constitutional ban on new minarets.