Swiss Politician Resigns After Pushing for “Kristallnacht” Against Muslims
Swiss People’s Party (SVP) member Alexander Muller stepped down from office in Zurich this week after advocating for a Kristallnacht for Muslims on his Twitter account.
On Sunday, June 23 a screenshot displayed the offending tweet in an article in the Swiss German language newspaper Tages Agniez. There, Muller’s @DailyTalk Twitter page is seen tweeting “Maybe we need another Kristallnacht… this time for mosques.” Muller had also previously tweeted on that same day: “we should take this pack out of the country. I do not want to live with such people.”
A statement from the SVP condemned the remarks, saying that Muller had “no room permitted for comparison or reference to the unspeakable dictator of the Nazi regime.”
Initially Muller denied tweeting the anti-Muslim statement and claimed the screenshot to be a forgery but it was ultimately proven through web search archives that he did indeed make the statement. On Wednesday Muller publicly apologized for the first time, saying to those who were offended by the tweet “this was never my intention,” according to Tages Agniez.
Abdel Azziz Qaasem Illi, spokesman for the Islamic Central Switzerland (ICCS), explained that while Muller had resigned, the SVP is no friend to religious Muslims. In 2009 the SVP, a far-right nationalist political party, had supported a constitutional ban against the construction of minarets in Switzerland. The SVP is considered to be the largest political party in the Federal Assembly of Switzterland.
“His Holocaust reference is rare nowadays,” said Mr. Illi. “Though unfortunately (public) statements against Jews are avoided (in Switzerland) it is more common to hear anti-Muslim hate speech.”
Meanwhile Muller has been called to step down from the school board which he is part of in the Zuriberg district, and the credit insurance company Muller worked for has also terminated his contract and a criminal investigation against him has opened.
Jewish groups, as well anti-hate groups in Switzerland, and the United States have come out in condemnation of Muller’s Kristalnacht reference.
“The Jews here feel that Mr. Mullers statement is absolutely against our belief, our religion, and against the democracy of Switzerland,” said Rabbi Chaim Drukman of the Chabad of Central Switzerland. “We will continue to live here peacefully with people of all faiths.”
“Holocaust analogies are never acceptable, but Alexander Muller’s call for a Kristallnacht against mosques is more than bigotry – it is incitement to violence,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
“We must never forget that Kristallnacht marked the beginning of Nazi violence against the Jews of Germany that led to the extermination of millions of Jews solely because of their religion. The world should never, ever again witness another Kristallnacht against any group of people. Calling for another Kristallnacht is simply beyond the pale,” Foxman concluded.