Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi is stoking the fires of a long-running fued with Switzerland.
He has declared in public that if Switzerland was on Libya’s borders he’d fight it in a Jihad against those he claims destroy God’s mosques.
Last November a majority of Swiss nationals voted in favour of a constitutional ban on the construction of minarets in their country.
Muslim groups in the alpine republic have condemned the vote as biased and anti-Islamic. They have warned the decision could damage relations with Muslim nations and wealthy Islamic investors.
But many of the estimated 450,000 Muslims living in Switzerland disagree with Gaddafi’s politics. Youssef Ibraim, the Imam of Geneva said: “Involving Islam in the conflict between the two countries is a mistake. Our situation is already difficult and it is wrong to involve us in another conflict.”
A Muslim resident of the Swiss city said he had relations with no one in Libya: “When I heard what Gaddafi said I was stunned. I don’t believe that people will follow him.”
Relations between Libya and Switzerland turned icy after Gaddafi’s son Hannibal and his wife were arrested in a Geneva hotel in 2008 for allegedly beating up their servants. They were released soon after.
Unease over growing Muslim minorities have rippled across Europe in recent years.This has brought about legal changes in some countries, such as Switzerland.