Swiss referendum on minarets

Campaigners denounce the towers as “symbols of Islamic power”


 

The normally sleepy Swiss country town of Langenthal has become the focus of a virulent right-wing campaign to ban minarets from all mosques in the Alpine republic on the grounds that they symbolize ideological opposition to the country’s constitution. Switzerland’s “stop minaret” movement is backed by the influential ultra-conservative Swiss People’s Party, (SVP) which was re-elected in 2007 with its largest-ever share of the vote after mounting an anti-foreigner campaign that was denounced by the United Nations as racist. Ulrich Schüler, an SVP parliamentarian and leading member of the anti-minaret movement, says the edifices are political rather than religious. “They are symbols of a desire for power, of an Islam which wants to establish a legal and social order fundamentally contrary to the liberties guaranteed in our constitution,” he said. Switzerland is home to a population of about 400,000 Muslims, the majority of whom are Turks, Bosnians and Albanians. The “stop minaret” campaign was launched two years ago, prompting a national debate on the subject. A petition in support of its aims has since been signed by more than 100,000 citizens. Under Swiss law the issue now has to be decided by a national referendum which will be conducted in late November. However, before then, the “stop minaret” campaign is hoping to create a legal precedent by thwarting construction of a minaret in Langenthal, a provincial town halfway between Bern and Basel that is home to 14,000 people and 11 churches.

The Independent


 
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Swiss referendum on minarets

  1. Well thank goodness at least one European nation is waking up from its zombie-like sleep and trying to prevent the development of Eurabia. It's probably too late for France and Germany, but at least other European nations seem to be realizing that they must resist the movement to change them from Dar Al Harb to Dar Al Islam. Will Canadians also wake up before it's too late?

  2. I think this is ridiculous. Minaret is a historical form of architecture that adorns mosques like the stained glass adorns Churches.

    Of course Muslims want to become a part of the Swiss landscape. They're equal to the Christians of the country; why shouldn't they be allowed to celebrate their art, architecture and heritage?

    • I would like to ask you to think about the following fact: Tolerance is a "must" in any relationship, no matter if you talk about tolerance between two human beings or countries, religion, etc. So far Switzerland has granted (plenty of) tolerance. How tolerant are Islamic countries? Believe me, I know what I am talking about. – Nobody minds mosques because that's an important part of freedom of religion. –

      • Churches can be found in any part of the Muslim world, except Saudi Arabia. Whether its Egypt, Pakistan, or Iran (all countries that enforce the Islamic law), churches are allowed, as are their decorations.

  3. Islam represents religion AND politics. Minarets have nothing to do with the original islam nor with a place as such to pray. It's a symbol of power and strength. Freedom of religion: That's a MUST – it has, however, nothing to do with minarets.

    • Ok, then. A little off topic, but since you brought up freedom of religion:

      What's your opinion on the French headscarf ban? Headscarves are as much a part of *original* Islam as crosses are part of Christianity. And yes, small crosses are allowed in French schools (only large ones are forbidden).

      What's your opinion on the headscarf ban in parts of Germany? What about Bavaria that ban's Muslim women from wearing a headscarf, but allows nuns to wear the habit (another form of covering the hair)?