Swiss Muslim activists took to the streets of Bern over the weekend to protest policies they characterize as discriminatory. But it wasn’t their demonstration that got the attention, rather their wearing yellow stars on their clothing resembling the symbol Jews were forced to wear during the Nazi era.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reports some 2,000 showed up to Saturday’s rally sponsored by the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS):
Protesters wore a yellow star sticker printed with the word “Muslim” reminiscent of the one that the Nazis forced Jews to wear during the Third Reich. Some protesters constructed a plastic model of a mosque with minarets, which are banned in Switzerland.
Edith Bino, president of the Jewish community in Bern, told the Basler Times that she found the use of the yellow star “so obviously wrong that it could not be taken seriously.”
And Yves Kugelmann, editor in chief of the Jewish newspaper Tachles, said he found the choice of symbols “simply idiotic.”
“It is regrettable when legitimate concerns are raised using false comparisons,” Kugelmann told the Basler Times. He said that discrimination against Muslims is a theme that must be taken seriously in Switzerland, “but not in this cheap way.”
The star that ICCS designed has eight points, not six as in the Star of David. In the middle, the word “Muslim” appears as opposed to “Jude” that European Jews under Nazi rule were forced to wear in the years leading up to and including the Holocaust.