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Amadeus85
07-08-2008, 08:21 PM
GENEVA — Switzerland will hold a nationwide referendum on banning the construction of minarets, towers attached to mosques, despite opposition from churches and the government.

"[Minarets] symbolized a political-religious claim to power, which challenges fundamental rights," said the committee spearheading an initiative to ban the minarets construction in Switzerland, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Tuesday, July 8.

"One which, as it is the case in Islam, places religion above the state, and which completely contradicts the federal constitution."

The committee, led by the far-right Swiss People's Party (SVP), has collected nearly 115,000 signatures; enough to force a nationwide vote on the minarets ban.

Under Swiss law, the electorate can request a popular vote if it manages to collect 100,000 signatures within 18 months from eligible voters for the initiative.

No date has been set for the referendum.

If it is approved, the Swiss parliament must pass a law enshrining a construction ban in the constitution.

The SVP, which campaigns to protect Christian values and Swiss traditions from strange cultures, claimed that minarets are a symbol of power and threaten law and order in Switzerland.

There are currently only two minarets in Switzerland, in both Zurich and Geneva.

The Muslim call to prayer is not raised from these minarets.

Last November, the Administrative Court in the canton of Solothurn upheld a project to build a mosque with a minaret in the northern town of Wangen.

It ruled that plans to add a six-meter minaret to a prayer center respected existing and relevant laws.

Violation

The minaret ban has drawn fire from Swiss churches and the government.

"Polarization is a bad thing," said the Federation of Churches in Switzerland.

"We should be working on integration."

The ruling Federal Council urged voters to reject the minaret ban.

It would "without a doubt be recommending that parliament and the electorate vote against the initiative," it said in a statement.

The Council said that the initiative did not originate from the government or the parliament but that it was "launched by a group of private individuals".

President Pascal Couchepin said the government will recommend that voters reject the proposed ban.

Several other members of Switzerland's cross-party government have already spoken out against the ban.

Foreign Affairs Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said that the government would oppose the text as it went against the constitution.

Former federal judge Giusep Nay had also appealed to parliament not to allow a popular vote as the initiative violated religious freedom.

There are about 340,000 Muslims in Switzerland, which has a population of 7.4 million.

Forty-three percent of the Muslim minority are of Turkish origin. Islam is the second religion in the country after Christianity.
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crayon
07-09-2008, 03:37 AM
Ugh, Islam's treatment in Europe has really been going down the drain lately.

"[Minarets] symbolized a political-religious claim to power, which challenges fundamental rights"

Oh my, a part of the building that's taller than the rest, how powerful, how offensive! Psh.
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AvarAllahNoor
07-09-2008, 10:28 AM
Silly nonsense. People are just trying to cause more rifts. These Minarets, didn't seem to cause them any harm years ago...
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KAding
07-09-2008, 01:46 PM
Complete nonsense of course, like all measures that attempt to limit religious freedom.
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aamirsaab
07-09-2008, 01:57 PM
Originally Posted by AvarAllahNoor
Silly nonsense. People are just trying to cause more rifts. These Minarets, didn't seem to cause them any harm years ago...
That's a very good point.

Originally Posted by KAding
Complete nonsense of course, like all measures that attempt to limit religious freedom.
I agree with both of these comments. I just hope this ill-feeling doesn't hit the UK any time soon and if it does, I hope us muslims living there will be strong-willed (in terms of imaan and intellect) enough to counter it appropriately.
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Uthman
07-09-2008, 02:25 PM
Here is the BBC article that I posted. http://www.islamicboard.com/world-af...-momentum.html

I agree with the comments above. Absolutely ridiculous. I fail to see how the building of minarets symbolise a 'political-religious claim to power'. Absurd.
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Amadeus85
07-09-2008, 04:25 PM
Switzerland is a small country, they dont have many citizens, I think that they werent ready to accept hundred thousands of immigrants from Africa and Asia. Probably also those asians and africans werent really ready to live in Europe. Thats why there are problems like this. Swiss also created tough conditions for next immigrants from third world, same as Denmark and many German states.
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Pygoscelis
07-10-2008, 02:32 PM
This ban is nonsense and it has no place in a free society. It reveals the strong fear the people have of islam taking them over. What they fail to recognize is that by banning expressions of Islam they will only cause it to become more entrenched and more radical in its believers.
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Amadeus85
07-10-2008, 05:38 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
This ban is nonsense and it has no place in a free society. It reveals the strong fear the people have of islam taking them over. What they fail to recognize is that by banning expressions of Islam they will only cause it to become more entrenched and more radical in its believers.
It may also cause other result. Muslims might become estranged from going to Switzerland, and other european countries. I think that it is what populists(and not small number of citizens) want and expect.
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anatolian
07-10-2008, 06:32 PM
Our minarets are more powerful then their intercontinental missiles...lol!

The christian right must be the most ridiculous political movement.
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KAding
07-10-2008, 07:19 PM
Originally Posted by anatolian
The christian right must be the most ridiculous political movement.
I don't think Christians have much to do with it? I don't think the SVP is particularly Christian political party?
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KAding
07-10-2008, 07:21 PM
I've been thinking about this a bit. And while I think this ban on minarets would be a clear mistake, I do wonder what religious rights would be trampled on exactly? Surely unused minarets are in no way a requirement for Muslims to practice their religion to the fullest? I assume the real issue here is that people fear a slippery slope?
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anatolian
07-10-2008, 07:37 PM
Originally Posted by KAding
I don't think Christians have much to do with it? I don't think the SVP is particularly Christian political party?
Wel, it says far-right for the party in the report.You think they are not?..And I've heard some similar funny-some times disgusting- stories from other christian rightists.
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anatolian
07-10-2008, 07:44 PM
The minarets are today cultural symbols about Islam.If people change the mosques' architacture style and start to build them without minarets this musn't be a problem for muslims but "to ban" the minarets is completely a joke which has nothing to do with this.
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mediadave
07-10-2008, 10:36 PM
Wel, it says far-right for the party in the report.You think they are not?..And I've heard some similar funny-some times disgusting- stories from other christian rightists.
You don't have to be christian to be right/far right - for example, Pim Fortyn was a gay athiest. I'd say secular nationalists make up the biggest portion of the far right.

Switzerland isn't the most enlightened country though, women didn't get the vote until the 70s, 80s. And its almost impossible for an immigrant to become a Swiss citizen.
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