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Swiss vote to ban minarets

Politicians claim the towers are symbols of Islamization


 

Voters in Switzerland have endorsed a wholesale ban on minarets via a referendum. The vote followed a campaign against the towers spearheaded by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), the largest party in parliament, which says minarets are a sign of Islamization. Though the government opposed the ban, 57 per cent of voters and 22 out of 26 cantons (or provinces) voted in favour of it, meaning minarets can no longer be erected anywhere in Switzerland. However, according to Amnesty International, the new rule could be short-lived. The human rights group claims the law violates freedom of religion and expects it to be overturned by the Swiss supreme court or the European Court of Human Rights.

BBC News


 
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Swiss vote to ban minarets

  1. And banning minarets will encourage integration and assimilation how exactly?

    • By not letting anyone into the country no integration or assimilation is needed in the first place.

      • Great post Lou Dobbs. Only us good white folk have been chosen and all others are heathens and are to be shunned , avoided , barred and generally looked down upon . Is it not great to be born again and have such a narrow view of the world ? Sorry but I was born right the first time. Bigotry and racism are alive and well.

        • So essentially if you are white and speak your mind you are labeled racist. Funny how racism seems to be the exclusive domain of caucasian folks. How many whites or christian churches exist in Islamic nations? How would these same nations react to Catholic church or a Synagogue being erected in thier country. We in the traditionally "caucasian" or "european" nations appear to be the most open-minded, educated, liberal long and tolerant nations on earth as keep our mouths and opinions to our self. Why is it so called minorities can essentially say or demand anything and we are expected to accept it in the name of human rights. Perhaps it is time for mass migration of fair skinned individuals to Islamic nations and start demanding our Human Rights.

          • Black, white or purple with pink polka dots it makes no difference. Racist bs is racist bs. Just because other countries are primitive intolerant and racist does not mean we have to live down to their standards. You apparently have much in common with the Ayatollahs. You share many of the same attitudes. However I think our goal should not be to mirror them but by example lead them to be more enlightened and tolerant. Its not easy but it wasnt easy with the Germans and look at them today. Not without problems but they have come a long way. If there is hope for them there may even be hope for you.

          • Christ, you're a bigot. If an authoritarian country without free institutions bans your religion, then it's okay to harm freedom in your own country by restricting the liberty of immigrants from the authoritarian country even though they've choosen your free country over their authoritarian homeland? Sorry, unlike you, I don't hate immigrants or individual and religious freedom.

            I hope Ezra Levant and Mark Stein are happy. In fanning anti-Muslim flames to promote their pro-war agenda, we get open racists like this "Michael" character. (Note: I am _not_ saying Ezra and Mark's campaign against the Human Rights commissions in wrong. On that score they are _right_. What I am saying is that the general anti-Muslim sentiment they promote in their writing is deplorable.)

  2. This law sounds like the mirror image of the Dhimmi laws of the old Ottoman Empire, where non-muslims weren't allowed to erect buildings taller than Muslim buildings. It's even more absurd in this day and age.

  3. I hate to say it, but in this case Amnesty International is right. I hope the law gets overturned in the Swiss Supreme Court.

  4. Maybe the US & other nations should follow Swiss style direct democracy?

    The Swiss just voted to ban minarets on mosques and this is a great exercise of their unique form of direct democracy regardless of your views on the subject. But my question is why do the Swiss get to overrule their politicians and parliament and here in the US, we don't have that right?

    Let's bring Swiss style direct democracy to the United States so Americans can vote on the Wall Street bailouts, government health care, whether to audit or abolish the FED, or require Congress declare war before we invade another country. Read why Switzerland is free and America is not and help restore citizen control over the US government and Congress currently under control of special interests. http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/holland9.1.1.html

    • Around 100,000 signatures need to trigger a national referendum…what could possibily go wrong with that?

    • Ron,

      Swiss-style direct democracy is desirable, but not when it involves voting on, and violating, the individual rights of others. Lew Rockwell would not agree with what you've written. Rockwell is committed to robust property rights and would argue that Muslims can build minarets on their property if they so choose.

  5. If the people of Switzerland wish to vote this way then it is their freedom to do so. Rather than always accomodating immigrants no matter what they believe, the Swiss have chosen they do not want to accomodate any longer.

    If this is what the Swiss want, who is to deny them?

  6. I though with the Republicans to the south and the Harper clan aka the neocons we had a monopoly on red neck bigotry. I am sorely mistaken , it is alive and well in Switzerland. Bigotry, racism, and religious fundamentalist are the biggest impediments to the advance of mankind. If this harmless symbol of one of the Abrahamic religions is banned then why not ban Crosses and the Star of David ?

  7. I though with the Republicans to the south and the Harper clan aka the neocons we had a monopoly on red neck bigotry. I am sorely mistaken , it is alive and well in Switzerland. Bigotry, racism, and religious fundamentalist are the biggest impediments to the advance of mankind. If this harmless symbol of one of the Abrahamic religions is banned then why not ban Crosses and the Star of David ?

  8. This is the perfect argument for checks and balances. My opinion of the swiss has taken a sharp downturn. I live in a neighborhood where Catholic, Anglican, Greek Orthodox, Baptists and Muslims all have places of worship within a bloc of each other. The mosque is accross the street from an Evangelical church which has actually permitted muslims to use it parking lot on Eid Al Fitr, a favor which the mosque returns for christian holidays. No one complains about the mosques' minaret anymore than the muslims complain about traffic tie ups caused by Catholic processions or Greek no day parades. It is not the construction of minarets (rather handsome architectural features) which encourage fundamentalism and jihadism. It is the resentment engendered by the treatment of people as second class citizens. It is ironic that the bigotted voters of switzerland and their kind are the best recruiters Osama Bin Laden has.

  9. Islamic countries do not allow any other religion to build their own churches because Allah does NOT recognize any other religion, SO , why do Christian countries HAVE TO allow mosques ? ? If ALL symbols of religion were banned from public view, and all new religious buildings be built so they cannot be easily defined as a religious building, then no one could complain about discrimination. Since ALL religions are just like insidious EVIL VIRUSES and CANCERS that have no place in the 21st century, NO religion should have dominance in the affairs of any country. Time religion be buried in the ignorant medieval past where it belongs. Right on, Swiss. Courts have no right to negate DEMOCRACY.

  10. Ironically, I stumbled across this discussion as I was in the final editing of my book on the subject of inappropriate influences into our justice systems which allow this kind of referendum to occur. Anywhere. Is it not ironic that this racism and bigotry arises in a nation where our “international court” is ensconced, Geneva?

    I do not deny that the vehicle of free speech should allow the free flow of these kinds of back and forth commentaries about religious freedoms. However, the role of our media, our politicians and our courts in allowing this to be promoted to “a vote” of any kind should not just be a concern. It is worrisome behaviour which, contrary to PJKEW, is far from being democracy.

    When we set aside the promises made at the United Nations in 1948 because of a bloody war to end the denial of freedoms because of religion and or any other difference in human character, we defile those legal promises made to the citizens of our democratic world. Democracy is not the application of a “majority view” anywhere in our world when it targets the minority or the oppressed.

    What is troubling is that we have allowed our courts to become servants to the moral majority. Why does the American Supreme Court allow the motto, “In God We Trust” (who’s god?) inside their court room laws, only after 1954? The rhetorical answer is that this is allowed because the precedent began in racist South USA states that the god of the “moral majority” could trump all other considerations. It was not until the race riots of the 1960’s that the racism from this same cauldron of injustice ended.

    Our job as citizens of the world is to stand up against injustice anywhere it appears and to stop it when it arises before it gets to the state of injustice. Our mega media failed us all by not bringing this issue, in a nation which ferreted away the riches of dispossessed Jews, to the forefront so that it would end in international outrage and condemnation before such an idiotic, right-violating “vote” began.

    Now, if justice and true democracy is to be indeed protected, the international community would not wait for the Swiss courts to rule on this illegal idiocy. The international communities would be reaching to credible crown prosecutors to file a complaint before the court in Geneva to charge the Swiss government with breach of the international promise of 1948.

    That law gave citizens of democracy equality in all rights, not the right for one higher fluting religious or racist group the right to deny freedoms to others. What should concern us is that this magazine’s debate notes that this referendum was spurred by signatures from barely 1 % of the Swiss population. It was sponsored by the “Swiss People’s Party”, a political party name too parallel to the German socialist party from whence came the Nazis. This referendum then passed with just over 57 % of the voters who did turn out. However, only 53 % of Switzerland’s eligible voters showed up to vote on this issue. This means that this referendum gained credence with support from not even 31% of the Swiss voting population.

    Now we are told that the Italian government is considering a similar referendum.

    It should not be surprising to see that I am encapsulating the stupidity illustrated in the Macleans’ sponsored debate into my Just Business book (scheduled to be available in February 2010). It is time for responsible citizens to stand up against the erosion of the legal requirement to complete impartiality into our courts so that they indeed become credible protectorates of our international laws and constitutional promises.

    Our courts and elected positions must be removed from being servants to the partisan and the immoral “moral majority”. The use of religious labels as an excuse for exclusion of any right of any kind defile the very promises for democracy which were made in 1948. We cannot continue to ignore that this has led to that hypocritical international court located in a city called Geneva inside a hypocritical nation which obviously does not understand what responsible democracy really is.

    This must end if true democracy is to survive.

  11. (Apologies … I bumbled when trying to first send this … it may be duplicated effort?)

    Ironically, I stumbled across this discussion as I was in the final editing of my book on the subject
    of inappropriate influences into our justice systems which allow this kind of referendum to occur.
    Anywhere. Is it not ironic that this racism and bigotry arises in a nation where our “international
    court” is ensconced, Geneva?

    I do not deny that the vehicle of free speech should allow the free flow of these kinds of back and
    forth commentaries about religious freedoms. However, the role of our media, our politicians and
    our courts in allowing this to be promoted to “a vote” of any kind should not just be a concern. It
    is worrisome behaviour which, contrary to PJKEW, is far from being democracy.

    When we set aside the promises made at the United Nations in 1948 because of a bloody war to
    end the denial of freedoms because of religion and or any other difference in human character, we
    defile those legal promises made to the citizens of our democratic world. Democracy is not the
    application of a “majority view” anywhere in our world when it targets the minority or the
    oppressed.

    What is troubling is that we have allowed our courts to become servants to the moral majority
    (why does the American Supreme Court allow the motto, “In God We Trust” (who’s god) inside
    their court room laws, only after 1954? The rhetorical answer is that this is allowed because the
    precedent began in racist South USA states that the god of the “moral majority” could trump all
    other considerations. It was not until the race riots of the 1960’s that the racism from this same
    cauldron of injustice ended.

    Our job as citizens of the world is to stand up against injustice anywhere it appears and to stop it
    when it arises before it gets to the state of injustice. Our mega media failed us all by not bringing
    this issue, in a nation which ferreted away the riches of dispossessed Jews, to the forefront so that
    it would end in international outrage and condemnation before such an idiotic, right-violating vote
    began.

    Now, if justice and true democracy is to be indeed protected, the international community would
    not wait for the Swiss courts to rule on this illegal idiocy. The international communities would be
    reaching to credible crown prosecutors to file a complaint before the court in Geneva to charge
    the Swiss government with breach of the international promise of 1948.

    That law gave citizens of democracy equality in all rights, not the right for one higher fluting
    religious or racist group the right to deny freedoms to others. What should concern us is that this
    magazine’s debate notes that this referendum was spurred by signatures from barely 1 % of the
    Swiss population. It was sponsored by the “Swiss People’s Party”, a political party name too
    parallel to the German socialist party from whence came the Nazis. This referendum then passed
    with just over 57 % of the voters who did turn out approving the referendum. However, only 53
    % of Switzerland’s eligible voters showed up. This means that this referendum gained credence
    with support from not even 31% of the Swiss population.

    Now we are told that the Italian government is considering a similar referendum.

    It should not be surprising to see that I am encapsulating the stupidity illustrated in the Macleans’
    sponsored debate into my Just Business book (scheduled to be available in February 2010). It is
    time for responsible citizens to stand up against the erosion of the legal requirement to complete
    impartiality into our courts so that they indeed become credible protectorates of our international
    laws and constitutional promises.

    Not servants to the partisan and the immoral “moral majority” which uses religious labels as an
    excuse to defile the very promises for democracy which were made in 1948. And which led to that
    hypocritical international court located in a city called Geneva inside a hypocritical nation which
    obviously does not understand what responsible democracy really is.

  12. Have you read the full length article in Macleans? I agree that it is not racist to be against a religion that forces women into female circumcision, female subservience, etc….it scares me.

  13. I do not claim to know anything about Islamic faith but from what I have heard, this religion condemns non-believers and believes they should die….is that true? What if Islam becomes the new majority religion…what does that mean for women? What does that mean for the non-believers???

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