FaithWorld

Swiss government speaks out against proposed minaret ban

August 28, 2008

The minaret of the Mahmud Mosque in Zurich, 23 May 2007/Christian HartmannDisputes about building mosques in Europe can get quite heated, snarling both opponents and proponents in bitter and emotional debates such as the Cologne mosque controversy we’ve written about here before. The far-right wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and some allies recently gathered enough signatures to force a national referendum on whether to ban the construction of minarets there. But while the anti-mosque movement has used oft-heard charges that minarets represent Islamic power that threatens law and order, the Swiss government has come up with an unusually detailed 49-page report opposing the ban. It combines legal and political arguments with such detail and precision that it could become a reference for pro-mosque/minaret arguments elsewhere in Europe.

The anti-minaret movement is getting support in some small Swiss towns where Islamic centres want to build minarets. Minarets already stand in some big cities like Zurich and Geneva and they would not be effected by the proposed constitutional amendment that simply says “The construction of minarets is forbidden.”

The government sent the Justice Department report to parliament with a simple cover letter urging the deputies to reject it. Here is the text (in German) and a summary (in English). Among the objections it laid out in lawyerly detail were that the proposal:

  • Minaret at the Islamic Cultural Foundation in Geneva, 25 May 2007/Denis Balibouse“is clearly against a series of internationally guaranteed human rights, such as Articles 9 (freedom of religion and thought) and 14 (ban on discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as against Articles 2 (ban on discrimination) and 18 (freedom of religion and thought) and possibly also Article 27 (protection of minorities) of the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • “stands in contradiction to numerous fundamental values anchored in the constitution of our state, such as the principle of equality before the law, freedom of belief and conscience, the guarantee for private property, the principle of proportionality and the injunction to respect international law…
  • “would be a completely disproportionate intrusion not only into central basic rights but also the competence of local authorities…
  • “would be inappropriate for reaching the goals stated by the initiators. Violent anti-constitutional activities by extremist fundamentalist circles in the name of Islam cannot in any way be combated or hindered in this way, because their planning, organisation and execution are not linked to specific buildings. A ban such as the initiative seeks would actually endanger religious peace, because it would have to be seen by the Muslim population as a discriminatory act. The constitution and Switzerland’s whole legal system apply to Muslims living here as much as they do for other residents of our country…
  • “would not only be met by consternation among the international community, but would also damage Switzerland’s standing around the world. This might, in turn, have a negative impact on the security of Swiss facilities and the interests of the Swiss economy.”

The Justice Department said the referendum petitions were valid, which means the vote will go ahead, and the issue is up to the people to decide. The government is clearly concerned that Switzerland could become a target of Muslim ire, echoing the Prophet Mohammad cartoon row in which Danish embassies were attacked and rioting rocked parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Anti-immigrant referendum poster in Zurich, 2 May 2008/Arnd WiegmannThe government has been embarrassed by other right-wing anti-immigrant initiatives featuring strident posters with white sheep kicking a black sheep off a Swiss flag, and brown and yellow hands reaching out to grab a pile of Swiss passports. Neither of those votes succeeded, but it was a tight margin on both occasions.

One thing, however, is on the government’s side — time. Due to various rules and regulations, getting the issue to a vote could take years.

Comments
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The Swiss government is nuts. The People’s Party, able to see through the fog of psuedo-intellectual mumbo-jumbo, correctly understands that Islam is at war with the West on many fronts. The creeping invasion of the “moderate” Muslims is in fact thee real main front of the war. The point of the maniacal suicide bombers is to give the “moderates” someone to point to and say “See, we’re not like them,” making the “moderate” requests seem unobjectionable. Only when their numbers are big enough will the demands for imposition of sharia law on everyone be made. They don’t need a majority, because even then there will be plenty of liberal dupes willing to do their bidding. Wake up, people!

Posted by markb | Report as abusive
 

Remember the death threats in Britain for Solomon Rushdie, the train bombings in spain, the riots in the banlieus of France, the political assassinations in the Netherlands of Pim, etc.For many years…Europe was considered to be committing suicide of western civilization with a secular war against christianity, a politically correct wallpapering of Islamic abuses (threats, terrorism, immigration, assimilation, etc), low birthrates below replacement level for nearly all european nations from Portugal to Russia and high immigration from Islamic nations AND THE SECULAR MULTI-CULTURAL POLITICALLY CORRECT ELITIST SNOBBERY THAT PREVENTED ANY PUBLIC DISCUSSION AS TO WHETHER THIS IS WHAT THE NATIVE POPULATIONS FROM PORTUGAL TO RUSSIA WANTED. GUESS WHAT? ITS NOT WHAT THE NATIVE POPULATION WANTED. ITS WHAT THE ELITISTS WANTED!IS IT TOO LATE? IN A FEW YEARS ISLAM WILL BE THE MAJORITY POPULATION IN NORTHERN FRANCE TO NORTHERN GERMANY…AND WHAT WILL THESE EUROPEAN NATIONS DO WITH THE ENEMY WITHIN! THE ENEMY THAT WILL NOT ASSIMILATE! THE ENEMY THAT WILL ONLY ADVOCATE MORE IMMIGRATION AND MORE SECULARISM UNTIL THEY ARE POWERFUL ENOUGH TO USURP THE CHRISTIAN UNDERPINNINGS OF SECULAR LAW IN THE RENAISSANCE AND ENLIGHTENMENT WITH VARIOUS VERSIONS SHARIA.IS THIS THE FIRST STEP IN BANNING FURTHER ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION? ONE CAN ONLY HOPE. IF NOT THEN EUROPE WILL FOLLOW BRITAIN WHERE THERE EXISTS ONLY AN ELITE OF NATIVE POPULATIONS AND THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS BE OUTPOPULATED AND OUTVOTED BY THE 2ND AND 3RD WORLD IN THE NAME OF DIVERSITY AND MULTI-CULTURALISM.IN OTHER WORLDS CULTURAL SUICIDE. DO EUROPEANS SEE IT? IS THIS THE FIRST STEP IN RECLAIMING EUROPES HERITAGE AND CULTURE? LETS HOPE SO!!!

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive
 

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