ANSWERS: 17
  • Good for the Swiss. Its their country, let them decide what they want to do. Minarets are often used for calls to prayer, with loudspeakers to boot. The Muslims claim a ban on minarets violates their rights, what of the rights of their non-Muslim neighbors to not deal with the noise of the call to prayer? Additionally, I rather doubt the minarets much fit with the architecture and general feel of the rest of the buildings. Ultimately it is an issue of how far are the Swiss required to go to accomodate an immigrant minority.
  • Most countries have planning guidelines for new buildings that private and public buildings need to conform to. An outright ban seems extreme.
  • I suppose every country has a right to make that type of decisions for themselves. In Islamic countries there are many restrictions on westerners. I know people working in Islamic countries and they have to live in compounds and abide by curfews and anti-alcohol laws etc. The Swiss have their own traditions, values and culture... same as the Islamic states. When in Rome do as the Romans do.
  • I believe the Swiss are about to discover just how open minded and easy going the Muslims are when their religion is under attack.
  • If there are only 4 why don't they find something else to worry about?
  • To me, such a ban would be another example of a tyranny of a majority over a presumably innocent minority. In that regard, it would be the same as if they banned the construction of synagogues, or made it illegal to be of Chinese ancestry in Switzerland.
  • Swiss BAN minarets Muslims BURN churches. http://www.afriquejet.com/news/africa-news/nigeria:-suspected-muslim-fanatics-burn-churches-in-nigeria-2009041425491.html http://www.christianpersecution.info/news/indonesia-muslims-burn-churches-homes-over-blasphemy-17518/ http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/09/pakistan-incited-at-friday-prayers-muslims-burn-church-over-new-case-of-alleged-blasphemy.html
  • Nothing at all to be admired in that. And a little (or a lot of) paranoia thrown in.
  • It seems I was wrong to think the Swiss had enough sense to reject this piece of religious discrimination. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The latest news is that the results are in and that the vote is in favour of the ban on minarets. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8385069.stm "More than 57% of voters and 22 out of 26 cantons voted in favour of the ban. The proposal had been put forward by the Swiss People's Party, (SVP), the largest party in parliament. The Swiss government opposed the ban, saying it would harm Switzerland's image, particularly in the Muslim world."
  • they are doing it right next you will ask to allow murders and jihad are u prepared for that but nonetheless european countries have the worst record in human rights now-a-days only 4 minarets, its wrong and shameful to swiss
  • Waste of time and in accord with the general stupidity of Westerners. These people "Muslims" and their religion are enemies bent on the destruction of the "West". Try something effective fools and ban the Muslims, you get rid of the minarets and the threat of home grown religious fanatics attacking you for living your own life at home.
  • After the ban has been passed by the referendum, it will probably be attacked by the legal experts of many organizations who were always opposed to the ban, because it does not seem that such a ban could really have a real legal basis inside a democratic constitution like that of Switzerland. "The construction of minarets has been subject to legal and political controversy in Switzerland during the 2000s. On 1 May 2007, the Egerkinger committee made up of members of the Swiss People's Party and the Federal Democratic Union launched a federal popular initiative which seeks a constitutional ban on minarets. In a referendum on 29 November 2009, the amendment, which needed a double majority to pass, was approved by 57.5% of the population and by 19 ½ cantons out of 23. Geneva, Vaud and Neuchatel, all French speaking cantons, voted against the ban (59.7%, 53.1% and 50.9% respectively). The half canton of Basel-City which has the largest Muslim community of Switzerland also rejected the ban by 51.6%. The voter turnout was 55%. As of the date of the vote, there were four minarets in Switzerland, attached to mosques in Zürich, Geneva, Winterthur and Wangen bei Olten. These existing minarets will not be affected by the ban." "Opposition - The Swiss Government: The Swiss Federal Council opposes a building ban on minarets. It says that popular initiative against the construction of minarets has been submitted in accordance with the applicable regulations, but infringes guaranteed international human rights and contradicts the core values of the Swiss Federal Constitution. Such a ban would endanger peace between religions and would not help to prevent the spread of fundamentalist Islamic beliefs. In its opinion the Federal Council therefore recommends that the Swiss people reject the initiative. The Federal Commission against Racism criticized the people's initiative. It claims that the initiative defames Muslims and violates religious freedom, which is protected by fundamental and human rights and the ban on discrimination. - The Swiss General Assembly (Parliament): The Swiss General Assembly recommended (by 129:50 votes) in its spring session of 2009 that the Swiss people reject the minaret ban initiative. - NGOs: The Society for Minorities in Switzerland calls for freedom and equality. It started an internet-based campaign in order to gather as many symbolic signatures as possible against a possible minaret ban. Amnesty International warned the minaret ban aims to exploit fears of Muslims and encourage xenophobia for political gains. "This initiative claims to be a defense against rampant Islamification of Switzerland," Daniel Bolomey, the head of Amnesty’s Swiss office, said in a statement cited by Agence France-Presse (AFP). "But it seeks to discredit Muslims and defames them, pure and simple." Economiesuisse finds an absolute construction ban would hit Swiss foreign interests negatively. It points to the fact that only the launch of the initiative caused turmoil in the Islamic world. The Swiss-based "Unser Recht" association publishes a number of articles against a minaret ban. In fall 2009, the Swiss Journal of Religious Freedom launched a public campaign for religious harmony, security, and justice in Switzerland. It distributed several thousand stickers in the streets of Zürich for the right to religious freedom. - Religious organizations: Catholic bishops oppose a minaret ban. The bishops said in a joint statement that a ban would hinder interreligious dialogue and added that the construction and operation of minarets were already regulated by Swiss building codes. "Our request for the initiative to be rejected is based on our Christian values and the democratic principles in our country." The official journal of the Catholic Church in Switzerland publishes a series of articles on the minaret controversy. The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches holds that the popular initiative is not about minarets, but is rather an expression of the initiators’ concern and fear of Islam. It views a minaret ban as a wrong approach to overcome such objections. Many other religious organizations find the idea of a complete minaret ban as lamentable. These are: the Association of Evangelical Free Churches and Communities in Switzerland; the Swiss Evangelical Alliance; the Old Catholic Church in Switzerland; the Covenant of Swiss Baptists; the Salvation Army; the Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Switzerland; the Orthodox Diocese the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople; the Serbian Orthodox Church in Switzerland; and the Anglican Church in Switzerland." "Individual legal experts Marcel Stüssi argues that any ban would be incompatible with articles of international law to which Switzerland is a signatory. In any case, cantonal zoning laws already prohibit the construction of buildings that do not match their surroundings. "Right-wing initiatives like the minaret one can misuse the system," says Stüssi. He calls the initiative "obsolete and unnecessary" but adds that the public discourse on the issue could put Switzerland in a positive light, at least for the majority who at this point oppose a ban." Source and further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minaret_controversy_in_Switzerland
  • At least they are not banning Muslims. Just minarets. In a clearly polarizing, and probably dangerous, issue in the Western world, somebody has to give ground somewhere. The Muslims get to stay, they do not build minarets. A little bit of this, a little bit of that.
  • They're banning minarets, not Mosques. If the Vatican suddenly decided to whomp up a bunch of new Cathedrals in a new extra-spikey style I doubt the Swiss would be particularly agreeable to that either. . The skyline belongs to the people, not the religion that can build the highest buildings. In related news I can't build a minaret on my house here in the US. That's because there are zoning laws. . Add to this the fact that a significant number of Muslims feel that Spain should be retaken (in the fullness of time I assume) and I can see how an individual Swissman might not be that enamored of unlimited minaret building. . Again, they're a feature of some Mosques, not a necessary part of a Mosque.
  • So much for my plans for Christians and world domination. Switzerland is out. +5/+6
  • Muslim fundamentalist are going to prey on Westerners propensity for political correctness and paranoia. You twits thinking this is about repression of freedoms, need to remove your blinders and stop jumping on bandwagons, they are getting way over crowed. It’s about the sky-line, not personal freedoms. Like Factotum said, “They're banning minarets, not Mosques”.
  • They are voting -- that's the main thing. With a 95% non-muslim population, this is not a surprising revelation.

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