Switzerland: New arrangements for Muslim soldiers

Switzerland: New arrangements for Muslim soldiers

The Swiss army recently approved an arrangement for non-Christian soldiers.

The regulations cover both dietary customs and hours of prayer.  Muslim soldiers can turn to Mecca, for example, only once a

This document corresponds to a tradition in the Swiss army.  The army has always made exceptions, Martin Bühler, spokesperson for the federal ministry of defense told ATS.  He confirmed the information on NZZ am Sonntag.

There are already regulation for Jewish soldiers and recruits.  In another field, farmers are also entitled to exceptions, when they lack manpower, explains Bühler.

Muslim recruits can now report to their commanding officer before starting training that they do not eat pork.  In certain recruit academies, Muslims make up practically 10% of the manpower.  They will now be offered an alternative menu.  They can also arrange for their own food.

In addition to the dietary requirements, the new document also regulates the issue of leave during religious festivals and prayer times.  As a Muslim in the armed forces can hardly pray five times a day, he must compact it into a single prayer after the end of his duty shift.  According to the army, the regulation was developed in collaboration with two Muslims who agreed to this solution.

Facilities are available to believers of all religions.  In some places the army arranges for a lace of meditation.  Otherwise, it's possible to use a classroom.

Source: 20Minutes (French)

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