After suspected forced marriages in the House of Religions
Bern imam resigns
In the mosque in Bern’s House of Religions, women are said to have been married against their will. Now the Imam Mustafa Memeti, who is responsible for the mosque, is taking the consequences.
The Bernese Imam Mustafa Memeti in the mosque in the Bern House of Religions.
Leah HartmannEditor Politics
The allegations are stingy. Forced marriages are said to have taken place in Bern’s House of Religions, SRF made public last November. Several women reported that they were married against their will and without prior civil marriage at the mosque located in the house. In Switzerland it is forbidden to religiously marry a couple without prior civil marriage.
Imam Mustafa Memeti (60) from the Muslim Association of Bern, which runs the mosque, was shocked. The mosque was misused for forced marriages.
resignation in April
Now Memeti is announcing his resignation as Imam. At the end of April he is withdrawing from the club, he said in a communiqué. “Forced marriages are a heinous and great crime,” he is quoted as saying. The events continued to stun him.
In the past, Memeti has been referred to as a “model imam”, he is considered liberal and spoke out in favor of a burqa ban, for example. In 2014 he was named “Swiss of the Year” by the “SonntagsZeitung” for his commitment to countering extremism.
He says to Blick that the association still has no knowledge of forced marriages that have taken place. After the allegations became known, he had expressed the suspicion that an imam unknown to him must have carried them out secretly. To this day it is unclear who it was. The House of Religions had filed a complaint. Internal measures were also taken.
“Must and want to take responsibility”
It is important that the whole thing has become public, Memeti writes in the media release. For the establishment of a Swiss Islam, Muslim communities are needed “that take public responsibility and do not withdraw into parallel worlds”. “I must and therefore want to take responsibility for the lack of organization.”
He has now been working as an imam for over 30 years, he tells Blick. “I’m not young anymore and I think it’s right to clear the way for a new generation.”