Investigation opened against Lucerne imam

The Office of the Attorney General of Lucerne has opened an investigation into an Iraqi imam at the Dar Asalam mosque in the town of Kriens. The man is alleged to have advised followers to beat their wives if they disobey them. 

The procedure was opened following an article recounting the incident in the SonntagsZeitung newspaperexternal link on October 6, the prosecutor’s office told the Keystone-SDA news agency on Monday.

According to the newspaper, the 38-year-old Iraqi made the remarks during a speech at a Friday prayer session at the Kriens mosque, near Lucerne, at the beginning of August. 

The man, who is presumed innocent until a final decision is made, purportedly suggested disciplining women with physical violence if other methods such as discussion or taking separate beds fail. He also reportedly called for respect for sharia law.

SonntagsZeitung reported that the imam arrived in Switzerland in 2007, where he filed an asylum request that was rejected. He was reported to have received an F residence permit which allows foreigners to be provisionally admitted to the country in cases where it is impossible to send them back home for specific reasons.

He was one of four Iraqis tried by a Swiss court in 2016 for alleged support to the Islamic State militant group. The other three people tried were all found guilty, while he was acquitted.

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