A recent opinion survey revealed that two-thirds of the Swiss refuse to recognise Islam as an official religion like Christianity or Judaism, requiring Muslims in Switzerland to make a greater effort to integrate better.
The results pose a challenge to the imams, in view of the importance of their role in community life, and their active engagement in the process of integration and fight against religious extremism, and the conditions needed for them to play a better role. To find out more, swissinfo.ch interviewed the imam of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Noureddine Ferjani.
Following media reports about the alleged radicalisation of areas around Swiss mosques, calls for transparency have grown across the country. Some politicians want to require imams to preach in one of Switzerland's national languages. In 2009, Switzerland became the first country in Europe to vote to curb the religious practices of Muslims through approval of a referendum banning any new construction of minarets on mosques.