Muslims protesting in Switzerland last weekend wore the yellow Star of David, sparking an outcry from Jewish leaders around the world.
Close to 2,000 protesters donned the symbol, which was used to label Jews under Nazi rule, at the rally organized by the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland in hopes of drawing a comparison from the treatment of Jews then to the treatment of Muslims now in the European country.
Some of the protesters also constructed a plastic model of a mosque with minarets, a structure that was recently banned.
Yves Kugelmann, editor-in-chief of the Jewish newspaper, Tachles, called the use of the yellow Star of David “simply idiotic,” telling the Basler Times, “It is regrettable when legitimate concerns are raised using false comparisons.”
While Kugelmann agrees that discrimination against Muslims in Switzerland is a serious issue and should be discussed, he believes it should not be handled “in this cheap way.”
Nicolas Blancho, the head of the Islamic Central Council, defended the protest’s use of the yellow Star of David, telling the Tages Anzeiger newspaper, “Muslims are treated as second-class citizens and are discriminated against, for example because they wear a headscarf or because of their name when they look for an apprenticeship or are looking for an apartment.”
The Swiss People’s Party is predicted to win about 30 percent of the upcoming election, the most of any political party. It has campaigned on a platform of outlining burkas and expelling foreign-born criminals.