TRIPOLI: Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said the Swiss referendum banning the building of new minarets was an invitation for Al-Qaida to launch attacks in Europe, the official news agency JANA reported on Sunday.
‘They pretend they are ‘fighting Al-Qaida and terrorism’ whereas in fact they have just rendered it the greatest service,’ he said, referring to Switzerland with disdain as ‘the mafia of the world.’
On November 29, more than 57 per cent of Swiss voters approved a rightwing motion to ban minarets on mosques, a decision that has sparked an international backlash and charges of intolerance.
‘Al-Qaida militants are now saying: ‘We warned you that they were our enemies... Look at what they are doing in Europe. Come and join us for a jihad (holy war) against Europe,’ Kadhafi said.
The Libyan leader, speaking at an academic ceremony on Saturday in Zliten, 160 kilometres east of Tripoli, said Muslim countries now had an argument not to allow the building of new churches.
‘I don’t think anyone in the Muslim world will from now on authorise the construction of a church,’ Kadhafi said.
He warned Switzerland of an economic fallout of a rift with the Muslim world. ‘You must think of your interests. You need gas, ports, the sea, solar energy, investments,’ Kadhafi said.
Tripoli’s own relations with Bern have been strained by the brief detention in July 2008 in Geneva of Kadhafi’s son Hannibal and daughter-in-law after two servants had complained of mistreatment.
Two Swiss businessmen have since been held in the North African. —AFP
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