The Swiss Government has banned Mosque Minarets?

Isobel - posted on 12/06/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

9,849

0

282

Swiss Vote to Ban Mosque Minarets
By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS
,
AP
posted: 7 DAYS AGO
comments: 1447
filed under: World News
PRINT|E-MAILMORE
Text SizeAAA
GENEVA (Nov. 29) -- Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets on Sunday, barring construction of the iconic mosque towers in a surprise vote that put Switzerland at the forefront of a European backlash against a growing Muslim population.
Muslim groups in Switzerland and abroad condemned the vote as biased and anti-Islamic. Business groups said the decision hurt Switzerland's international standing and could damage relations with Muslim nations and wealthy investors who bank, travel and shop there.
Skip over this content
Anti-minaret campaign postes in Geneva on Nov. 4, 2009
Salvatore Di Nolfi, Keystone / AP

Campaign posters from a right-wing Swiss party depict minarets as missiles.
"The Swiss have failed to give a clear signal for diversity, freedom of religion and human rights," said Omar Al-Rawi, integration representative of the Islamic Denomination in Austria, which said its reaction was "grief and deep disappointment."
About 300 people turned out for a spontaneous demonstration on the square outside parliament, holding up signs saying, "That is not my Switzerland," placing candles in front of a model of a minaret and making another minaret shape out of the candles themselves.
"We're sorry," said another sign. A young woman pinned to her jacket a piece of paper saying, "Swiss passport for sale."
Skip over this content
The referendum by the nationalist Swiss People's Party labeled minarets as symbols of rising Muslim political power that could one day transform Switzerland into an Islamic nation. The initiative was approved 57.5 to 42.5 percent by some 2.67 million voters. Only four of the 26 cantons or states opposed the initiative, granting the double approval that makes it part of the Swiss constitution.
Muslims comprise about 6 percent of Switzerland's 7.5 million people. Many are refugees from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and about one in 10 actively practices their religion, the government says.
The country's four standing minarets, which won't be affected by the ban, do not traditionally broadcast the call to prayer outside their own buildings.
The sponsors of the initiative provoked complaints of bias from local officials and human-rights group with campaign posters that showed minarets rising like missiles from the Swiss flag next to a fully veiled woman. Backers said the growing Muslim population was straining the country "because Muslims don't just practice religion."
"The minaret is a sign of political power and demand, comparable with whole-body covering by the burqa, tolerance of forced marriage and genital mutilation of girls," the sponsors said. They said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared mosques to Islam's military barracks and called "the minarets our bayonets." Erdogan made the comment in citing an Islamic poem many years before he became prime minister.
Anxieties about growing Muslim minorities have rippled across Europe in recent years, leading to legal changes in some countries. There have been French moves to ban the full-length body covering known as the burqa. Some German states have introduced bans on head scarves for Muslim women teaching in public schools. Mosques and minaret construction projects in Sweden, France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Germany and Slovenia have been met by protests.
But the Swiss ban in minarets, sponsored by the country's largest political party, was one of the most extreme reactions.
"It's a sad day for freedom of religion," said Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a British youth organization. "A constitutional amendment that's targeted towards one religious community is discriminatory and abhorrent."
He said he was concerned the decision could have reverberations in other European countries.
Amnesty International said the vote violated freedom of religion and would probably be overturned by the Swiss supreme court or the European Court of Human Rights.
The seven-member Cabinet that heads the Swiss government had spoken out strongly against the initiative but the government said it accepted the vote and would impose an immediate ban on minaret construction.
It said that "Muslims in Switzerland are able to practice their religion alone or in community with others, and live according to their beliefs just as before." It took the unusual step of issuing its press release in Arabic as well as German, French, Italian and English.
Sunday's results stood in stark contrast to opinion polls, last taken 10 days ago, that showed 37 percent supporting the proposal. Experts said before the vote that they feared Swiss had pretended during the polling that they opposed the ban because they didn't want to appear intolerant.
"The sponsors of the ban have achieved something everyone wanted to prevent, and that is to influence and change the relations to Muslims and their social integration in a negative way," said Taner Hatipoglu, president of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Zurich. "Muslims indeed will not feel safe anymore."
The People's Party has campaigned mainly unsuccessfully in previous years against immigrants with campaign posters showing white sheep kicking a black sheep off the Swiss flag and another with brown hands grabbing eagerly for Swiss passports.
Geneva's main mosque was vandalized Thursday when someone threw a pot of pink paint at the entrance. Earlier this month, a vehicle with a loudspeaker drove through the area imitating a muezzin's call to prayer, and vandals damaged a mosaic when they threw cobblestones at the building.

Associated Press Writers Shafika Mattar in Amman, Jordan, Eliane Engeler in Basel, Jennifer Quinn in London and Giovanni Fontana in Rome contributed to this report.



And...what does everybody think of this??? Do you think they will ban burquas or hijabs next? Should they?

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

8 Comments

View replies by

Johnny - posted on 12/07/2009

8,686

26

318

We are talking about a country that only acknowledged a woman's right to vote in 1971 and accepted women as "equal citizens" in 1985. (Equally weighted legal testimony etc.) Not exactly a forward thinking nation. Not to mention their long-term abetting of the Nazis through hiding and laundering their money.

[deleted account]

Quoting dana:

Well, while I don't agree with making a woman cover from head to toe, some of the women who actually do wear them agree with it. I don't think it's up to any country to ban burqa's or hijabs, although it would be nice for them to be optional with no consequences within their own law.

As far as the minarets, if the reason behind it is what is stated in the article then that's absurd. I had to look them up to see what they were and they do eerily look like missiles, if they were something that was recently added I could see people questioning them but, they're as old as the day is long.
Also, I wouldn't go as far as to say they are sending a message that they're not welcome. It not as if mosques were banned.



I think for me it's less the action and more the reason behind it that sends the message that Muslims are unwelcome. They're not banning mosques...But they are saying that minarets, which have been around for centuries, look like missiles. They're equating the faith with the terrorism that so many of its followers are fighting against. And the minarets are now (and have been for a while) a traditional part of mosques. It's comparable to telling a Christian church that it can't put a cross on its steeple, I think.

Isobel - posted on 12/07/2009

9,849

0

282

I think it's pretty sad too...I thought SOMEBODY would disagree...wrong page maybe ;P

Dana - posted on 12/07/2009

11,264

35

489

Well, while I don't agree with making a woman cover from head to toe, some of the women who actually do wear them agree with it. I don't think it's up to any country to ban burqa's or hijabs, although it would be nice for them to be optional with no consequences within their own law.



As far as the minarets, if the reason behind it is what is stated in the article then that's absurd. I had to look them up to see what they were and they do eerily look like missiles, if they were something that was recently added I could see people questioning them but, they're as old as the day is long.

Also, I wouldn't go as far as to say they are sending a message that they're not welcome. It not as if mosques were banned.

?? - posted on 12/06/2009

4,974

0

171

This is as bad as the "Holiday Tree" crap. Maybe they should ban the bells on sunday at service too - public noise distrubance. All of it goes against freedoms and encourages intolerance and superior ideals. It's disturbing, our world should be getting smarter, becoming more advanced in our social diversity, progressing towards a safer enviroment for our children.... not regressing more and more and more...

[deleted account]

Wow...Just...Wow. I cannot believe that there seems to be no reason for this other than to "send a message" to Muslims-"we don't want you." It's incredibly sad.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms