last updated: 30 Nov 2009- 02:30
Even fundamentalist Islamic countries did not vote about the shape of religious institutions…
It is a sad day. The referendum result made me really angry first but now sadness prevails. This is such a stupid referendum and a stupid result. Switzerland is known to be a peaceful and civilized place and whatever the reasons behind the ban, it just doesn’t fit. How come a country like Switzerland can do something like that? It is basically beyond reason. As a Swiss friend of mine, Ariane Beldi, stated in Facebook, this small, rich and civilized country declared itself to be the first officially anti-Muslim country in Europe! Discrimination against Muslims has become unashamedly constitutional… My goodness. Again in Ariane’s words “in their haste to protect the Judeo-Christian heritage against Islam, a good deal of people seem to be forgetting some essential elements of this heritage, like intellectual rigour, rationality, honnesty, tolerance, etc…”
Some Eurobloggers reacted fast and they deserve an applause. A growing roundup follows…
Europe in the 21st century is a multicultural continent, with multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, and multi-religions societies (including non-religious people) – and Switzerland doesn’t seem to belong to Europe today.
The Swiss have shown that they truly don’t want to belong to this continent by rejecting that minarets may be built together with mosques. They have shown to the world that they want to be a place apart from European values.
Among eurobloggers at least Julien Frisch and Gulf Stream Blues have already reacted clearly against the Swiss referendum banning minarets. Erkan?s Field Diary says it at least as forcefully in a blog post he has promised to update soon: In Switzerland, Fascism seems to be getting ground?
I wrote a comment on Julien?s blog, but thought that I might post it on Grahnlaw as well:
Switzerland has voted to impose a blanket ban on the building of minarets across the country, backing an initiative by far-right politicians.
Switzerland?s political right scored a surprising win, denting the nation?s image as a bastion of tolerance.
Results from referendum show that majority of voters favour ban on
Switzerland is voting on whether to ban the building of minarets, against a background of criticism from human rights groups.
Swiss citizens are called to the polls today November 29 to vote on the popular initiative «Against the Construction of Minarets». Launched by the right-wing People?s Party and the small ultra-conservative Federal Democratic Union, the initiative has sparked controversy and a heated debate on Islam in Switzerland, human rights and integration. An online poll by Jungfrauzeitung.ch in the week ending November 22 has shown 43 percent of readers against and 55 percent in favour of a ban. The Federal Council and parliament oppose the initiative, saying that it restricts freedom of religion as anchored in the constitution, goes against the grain of Switzerland?s tradition of tolerance, endangers integration and violates the European Convention on Human Rights. The main Swiss churches and non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International Switzerland also reject a ban on the construction of minarets.