Many imams at Swiss mosques spend only a few years in Switzerland, and have little understanding of how Muslims here actually live. Islamic studies specialist Andreas Tunger-Zanetti tells swissinfo.ch how the situation could be improved.
swissinfo.ch: The Turkish office for religion sends imams on five-year assignments to Turkish diaspora mosques – also in Switzerland. Often, these clerics have just a rudimentary knowledge of the local language, and they know little about the host country's culture. How should they perform their duties when it comes to integration?
Andreas Tunger-Zanetti: When it comes to purely religious and cult matters, they're well suited, and they're important to some members of their communities. They also perform certain pastoral tasks. But we find that young Muslims don't feel a connection with these often older imams who don't really understand their life in Switzerland.