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Thread: Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

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    Talking Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

    Swiss voters' clear decision on Sunday to ban the construction of minarets has generated a wide range of emotions, from stunned joy to rueful concern. - swissinfo

    Good job Switzerland:

    Swiss voters' clear decision on Sunday to ban the construction of minarets has generated a wide range of emotions, from stunned joy to rueful concern.

    Supporters of the initiative said the Swiss electorate wanted to put a brake on the Islamicisation of their country, whereas opponents were concerned about the violation of rights, not to mention an international backlash and possible boycott of Swiss products.

    "Forced marriages and other things like cemeteries separating the pure and impure – we don't have that in Switzerland and we don't want to introduce it," said Ulrich Schlüer, co-president of the Initiative Committee to ban minarets.

    Oskar Freysinger, a member of the rightwing Swiss People's Party and a driving force in the campaign, said he was "stunned and dumbfounded" by Sunday's result "since the entire establishment was against us".

    "I would like to say to all the Muslims listening that this will in no way change their right to practise their religion, to pray or to gather [in mosques]," he said. "However, society wants to put a safeguard on the political-legal wing of Islam, for which there is no separation between state and religion."

    The president of the People's Party, Toni Brunner, said voters had clearly rejected the idea of parallel societies and the further expansion of Islam – including radical, political Islam – in Switzerland.

    According to final results, 57.5 per cent of voters and a majority of cantons backed the initiative – up from 34 per cent last month. Turnout was high at around 53 per cent.

    Brunner said people who settled here had to realise that they couldn't turn up to work in a head scarf or get special dispensation from swimming lessons.
    What's this?What's this?

    * People's initiative

    Government reaction

    The government said in a statement it respected the decision.

    For Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, the outcome reflected fears among the population of Islamic fundamentalist tendencies, "which reject our national traditions and which could disregard our legal order".

    "These concerns have to be taken seriously. The government has always done so and will continue to do so in future. However, we take the view that a ban on the construction of new minarets is not a feasible means of countering extremist tendencies," she said.

    Widmer-Schlumpf underlined that Sunday's vote was only directed against the construction of new minarets. "It is not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture. Of that the government gives its assurance."
    "Switzerland has lost"

    Nevertheless, Saida Keller-Messahli, president of the Forum for an Advanced Islam, said the public's fears had been too great and "hatred had won over reason".

    She said there would now be legal consequences, since the ban violated the freedom of religion.

    The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Switzerland also regretted the result, saying the propaganda of the campaign supporters had succeeded in frightening the majority of voters.

    The federation said it was too soon to judge the negative social and legal consequences – what was important now was to strengthen their public relations and clear up any misunderstandings or prejudices concerning Islam.

    "Switzerland has lost," said Rifa'at Lenzin from the European Project for Interreligious Learning in Zurich, adding that the country was "leading the way" for Islamophobia.

    Lenzin was only partly surprised by the result, "which corresponds to the current mood". She said she was astonished, however, that the "subjective and far-fetched arguments" of the minaret opponents had found such great support.

    She added that the opponents of the initiative had completely underestimated the situation and that the political parties had been asleep, with only the centre-right Radical Party actively campaigning. The public spaces had been dominated by the campaign supporters, she said.
    « Switzerland is heading straight for a battle with Islam. »

    Jacques Neyrinck
    Swiss values

    Reinhard Schulze, a professor of Islamic studies at Bern University, said he was "very surprised" by the acceptance of the initiative.

    He described the result as a "turning point", in that after many years of going in the other direction, voters had once again spoken for an unequal treatment of faiths.

    "The next thing is obviously to look at how this plays with international law," he said, adding that he could already envisage complaints from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

    The Council of Religions, a body comprising Christian churches, Jews and Muslims, said in a statement it regretted the result. People of all faiths must work together even harder, it said, for the respect of rights of freedom, for dialogue with the Muslim community and for integration.

    "These are values that make Switzerland strong," it said.
    Swiss image abroad

    Looking at political reaction, the centre-left Social Democratic Party warned in a statement against the exclusion of Muslims in Switzerland.

    "The yes vote was probably the result of a diffuse fear of a religious minority," it said.

    This fear must be taken seriously, it added, but it must not be misinterpreted as a vote of mistrust against all Muslims living in Switzerland.

    The party said it was also concerned about Switzerland's image abroad, saying that a foreign ministry offensive was clearly necessary, along with stronger integration efforts at all state levels.

    Jacques Neyrinck from the centre-right Christian Democratic Party stressed that Switzerland would be the only country in the world to ban the construction of minarets.

    "Switzerland is heading straight for a battle with Islam," he said, adding that he feared a boycott of Swiss products.
    "Dirty campaign"

    The four minarets already attached to mosques in the country are not affected by the initiative, and the president of the Islamic community in Langenthal, canton Bern, assumed his organisation would be able to add a minaret to their mosque since it had already been approved.

    Mutalip Karaademi said he was disappointed by the strong level of support and the "dirty campaign", describing Muslims and Islamists and terrorists.

    But Langenthal mayor Thomas Rufener, from the People's Party, said he didn't think the minaret would be built "for political reasons".

    Thomas Stephens, swissinfo.ch and agencies

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    Re: Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

    "Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?".- Northern Irish joke

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    Re: Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

    Until education takes control and stops the uncontrolled spread of lies about Islam such as it being a Religion of peace this ban will be no more that a stop gap measure.
    Sharia law is being pushed in nations around the world, and once in place all is lost, and other Religions will be no more than a memory because history will be changed and it will one be as if it never existed.

    Muslim Demographics Video

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    Re: Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

    Time for an amendment to the constitution....

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    Re: Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    Until education takes control and stops the uncontrolled spread of lies about Islam such as it being a Religion of peace this ban will be no more that a stop gap measure.
    Sharia law is being pushed in nations around the world, and once in place all is lost, and other Religions will be no more than a memory because history will be changed and it will one be as if it never existed.

    Muslim Demographics Video

    Fear mongering. Nothing more.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

    I'm not sure how the government can actually prevent it. So long as they are within building codes and permits and such, it should be ok.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

    There are few places in the western world where minarets are currently covered in the building codes. The real obstacles are the old laws about building heights. A large amount of US cities east of the Mississipi River have codes that limit the height of buildings to below that of church spires. Since spires do not include stairs and places for a person to call the faithful to prayer as minarets do, the minarets will have to be lower than the church spires.

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    Re: Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

    I think they are opening the door for lefties and atheist to ban Christian,Jewish and Catholic buildings.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

    Quote Originally Posted by Partisan View Post
    Time for an amendment to the constitution....
    Thank God (no irony intended) we have a Constitution that protects us from this crap, and certain people on this forum too.

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    Re: Swiss voters approve constitutional ban of minarets

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I think they are opening the door for lefties and atheist to ban Christian,Jewish and Catholic buildings.
    Uh, no, it's righties that want to do that. At least the Jewish and Catholic ones.

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