The Swiss Ban Minarets

(Many newspapers refused to print this poster…It was also banned in a few cities…)

Final results show that over 57 percent of voters backed the proposal in a referendum that was held today following an initiative by a right wing political party. Turnout was reported at about 55 percent.

Switzerland, home to some 400,000 Muslims, already has four minarets attached to mosques that will remain even after today’s referendum.

The Swiss government had urged voters to reject the proposed ban on new minarets, saying it would violate religious freedom and human rights, as well as potentially provoking Islamist radicalism and harming Switzerland’s image. But in a statement today, the government said it respects the decision of the voters.

“A majority of the Swiss people and the cantons have adopted the popular initiative against the construction of minarets. The Federal Council respects this decision,” the statement said.

The controversial proposal to ban minarets was brought up by the right wing Swiss People’s party,  which says minarets are symbols of rising Muslim political and religious power that could eventually turn Switzerland into an Islamic nation.

Lord, what next? A ban on Hindu temples, gurudwaras and synagogues? Oops! I forgot, synagogues were banned by a neighbouring country with disastrous consequences…If this is the Swiss way of tackling the real problem – the integration of Muslim immigrants – then, I’m sorry to say, the Swiss are idiots…The ban will only provoke religious hostility and intolerance and thereby further radicalize Swiss Muslims…Actually, I’m wrong here…After re-reading the article I’ve realized that this ban is not about integration but about getting rid of Muslims…

This referendum shows how deep rooted religious tolerance and liberty are in Europe…Long live the Swiss system of direct democracy! Long live cuckoo clocks and cuckoo laws!

P.S. The call to prayer is already banned…

Most of the comments on articles dealing with this issue support the ban…Examples:

  • “Since when do Muslims treat Christians FAIR in Muslim countries? We are TOO fair to muslims in this country, we need to show the same disrespect here as you do to us in your home countries.” (SKY)
  • “Oh, stop being so analytical! What a wonderful result, and may the rest of Europe follow as soon as possible! And not only with minarets as the target.” (Telegraph.co.uk)
  • “A sensible result from a sensible people in my view.” (Telegraph.co.uk)
  • “What is wrong with not wanting to be around muslims? They are dangerous and have a problem with the American way of life. Get rid of the minarets. Check. Get rid of the moslems. ????” (Telegraph.co.uk)

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21 thoughts on “The Swiss Ban Minarets

  1. this is like that post about veils Indy did with the ban on it in France… sigh..

    jehad, hindutva, bans… strange world is this !!! seriously !

    Me: The world is strange…BTW, where is Indy? She hasn’t posted anything in eons…I’ve started to miss her mile-long posts…

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  2. This is an overreaction to not just terror but also the fact that some Muslims are going over the board to proclaim their identity solely on the basis of their religion, not their nation. The way things are going, similar calls will be made by other European nations too. I cannot say who is right or wrong, but certainly there is a conflict looming between the idea of a secular state, as defined even by Jinnah, and a politico-religious identity that is at a tangent to it. And terror has a lot to do with it.

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  3. I am really shocked by this. I know the Swiss are a bit xenophobic, but this is so stupid! I tis not just the Muslims that the Swiss don’t want as you correctly guessed.

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  4. Haha!! Clash of civilizations…

    Looks like the third world war is on the cards…Muslims vs the rest of the world.

    Me: I’m afraid you may be right…What a disaster it will be…

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  5. The Swiss have not banned mosques, Sraboney. As I understand it, minarets are viewed as a sign of increased political, not just religious, activity- that’s why they are viewed with distrust.

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  6. You know, the more I think about this, the more confused I get. Should the non-Muslim world be all tolerant and loving towards the Muslims, would that bring peace to them, and end their reign of terror? Or do we need to just keep them away and force them to blend in with the rest, to prevent them from being ‘different’. I have absolutely varying thoughts at different times. Sometimes it worries me to see how hostile people get towards Muslims, at others i wonder if I myself can completely trust someone who i know is Muslim. I have no clue about whether I like or dislike this ruling….. I do agree with your view, but I also realise the deep-rooted fear and antagonised mindset people have against Muslims.

    “Since when do Muslims treat Christians FAIR in Muslim countries” – Indeed there is no freedom in Muslim countries to follow one’s own way of living and I say that from personal experience.

    PS – LOVE the bold and bright new header!

    Me: My answer to your question “Should the non-Muslim world be all tolerant and loving towards the Muslims, would that bring peace to them, and end their reign of terror?” is “I guess not”…
    I’m glad you like the header…

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  7. This is so shocking, Bones.. And even more shocking is the reaction of right-wingers in Europe.. Since they are hailing it as a great decision – makes one wonder where we are off to.. Where will all this end?

    Great header!

    Me: Thank you for the header comment…It needed to be changed…

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  8. You said it absolutely right – “The ban will only provoke religious hostility and intolerance and thereby further radicalize Swiss Muslims”.

    Why is it that others always play on the religious thoughts and customs ???? The world can never be a better place, if there is no religious tolerance.

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  9. “Since when do Muslims treat Christians FAIR in Muslim countries” –
    Agreed that the muslim states have had their shares of fanatic intolerances towards other faiths; But, this ban will only complicate the issue. The so called “jihadi’s” will get a fresh motivation to sabotage and justify waging war on innocent people. Actually, such acts are used by extremist’s to poison the minds of innocent muslims. Lets be tolerant to other faiths and hope that eventually these people will understand the same.

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  10. Since I am residing in an Islamic country(Kuwait) it would be very easy for me to say that the ban is just a reflection of their own intolerance..(though Kuwait is not like KSA) but these kinds of bans will only allienate them further and will act as a fodder to the extremists.. one also have to think of the saner Muslims who will have lesser choices…

    nd why is Swiss not saying no to all the money that is pouring from Muslims but only to the minarets?

    Me: “why is Swiss not saying no to all the money that is pouring from Muslims but only to the minarets?” that is a good question…Switzerland has always been money minded and that’s why historically they’ve never taken sides…Money is what makes them tick – ugh!

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  11. Bones this is what Taslima Nasreen pointed out in Lajja. People are being seen not as country-people and citizens but even when they are equal citizens, as Christians and Muslims (or Hindus). We talk of Indian Muslims as outsiders, some of the comments you have added, reflect similar thinking… and like Nita has pointed out the Swiss are xenophobic, and it isn’t just the Muslims they want out..

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    • I’ve read posts that support this ban…Their logic : the ban is not a backlash against Islam but a backlash against militant Islam…What is the difference? I can understand why people are vary of Muslims, but won’t this ban give militant Muslims another reason to strike? Iran and Libya have already ‘warned’ the Swiss government that there will be consequences…Knowing how religious militants feel, why did the Swiss people bring more danger onto themselves?

      Apparently, Swiss women supported the ban more than men because they oppose the oppression of women in Islamic societies…

      The real debate is not about minarets and head scarves but about how Islamic principles are influencing European (white) identity…

      Muslims living in democratic Europe should try to integrate with the local culture…If they want freedom of speech for themselves, they should allow others to have that right too instead of rioting over newspaper articles and cartoons that they perceive to be an insult to Islam or their Prophet…

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  12. Muslims living in democratic Europe should try to integrate with the local culture…you said it right..

    nd sadly even in India we see it… at least in Kerala you now see more Burkha clad women than before

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  13. Good post. The arguement that in many Islamic Countries other religions are not given freedom is the reason for such ban of minarets is foolish. Does the Swiss want to imitate the autocratic and undemocratic Arab regimes? Do they want to go back to dark ages?

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  14. Pardon me , but its not the minarets per say which is being objected if you would look the problem with little more consciously. The uproar is largely because of fear, the fear of being a minority in their own country in the near future. I for think, its only natural and it gains further currency when the similar rights are not bestowed in Islamic countries .

    I do not think , its the religion or Islam that is the bone contention in India or elsewhere. Its the rapid demographic changes taking place .With voting rights, its a question of time before the politically you become insignificant and the power shifts. It may be unpleasant but then certain tension will arise when the equilibrium is disturbed, its universal.

    I just happened on your blog , if you don’t approve of my comment feel free to remove , not my intention to offend you.

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