Minaret referendum updates (2)

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Newsy.com videos analyze and synthesize news stories from multiple sources. Its unique method of showing how different media cover the news helps viewers better understand complex stories. [Thanks Helen!]

Racism, intolerance still a reality in Europe, report shows

from EurActiv.com

Ethnic and religious minorities in Europe continue to suffer from discrimination and prejudice and face disadvantages in a whole host of areas, from employment and education to housing and policing, a report published yesterday (3 December) by the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) reveals.

German-Turkish Director Fathi Akin Boycotts Swiss Over Minarets: http://www.google.com/hostedn…

West must understand that Islamophobia is as dangerous as anti-Semitism by JOHN L. ESPOSITO

Enlightened Switzerland has now become part of an ?enlightened liberal Europe? that is increasingly not all that liberal.

Minarets suisses : la présidence suédoise critique la votation

from Blogactiv

La présidence suédoise s?est dite lors de la réunion du Conseil des ministres du 30 novembre et 1er décembre, préoccupée par le référendum suisse interdisant la construction de nouveaux minarets. « C?est l?expression d?un préjugé et peut-être même d?une peur, mais il est clair qu?il s?agit à tous égards d?un signe négatif, il n?y a aucun

It wasn?t a vote about architecture

from Federal Union by Richard Laming

The timing could not have been better. The fallout of the Conservative decision not to hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty now that it has come into force, and not to hold a referendum on any other European question either until new proposals come from Brussels, blends into the news reports from Switzerland on the referendum on minarets. (Read about the referendum here.)

Green Left – Swiss referendum reveals ugly racism

First They Razed the Minarets?

from WhirledView by Patricia Lee Sharpe

By Patricia Lee Sharpe

Dominos Can you believe it? A bunch of foreign fanatics wants to desecrate our traditional skyline with toothpick towers they call minarets from which they?ll yodel I don’t know how many times a day, and we?re supposed to sit by, mum as mice, while Switzerland becomes Switzerlost.  Minarets!  Impaling clouds!  Making a Swiss cheese of the heavens.  No way! No new minarets! As for those built already, down with every one of them!   If these terrorists-in-the-making don?t like it, well! we?ll sic the Swiss Guard on them.  A good Swiss pike can repel any raghead?and aren?t those puffy pants cute?

Iran warns of “consequences” for Swiss over minaret ban

from Boing Boing by Rob Beschizza

Iran has warned Switzerland of ‘consequences’ following the recent referendum there on minaret construction. Characteristic Ahmadinejadian subtlety! But here’s a thought: when scripted opprobrium flies around the world, it’s usually between governments or other impersonal entities. Given Switzerland’s unusual direct-democracy, however, where people can enact laws even when the government is against them, doesn’t this mean that the condemnations are, for once, aimed directly at a nation’s public rather than the government that represents them?

Vote shows Switzerland may not be so neutral after all

from Turkish Digest by Turkish Digest

This past Sunday, voters in Switzerland were at the poles to take part in one of the most controversial referendums to arise in a country renowned for being uncompromisingly neutral. The question on the ballot was straightforward: Do you support the creation of a constitutional amendment to ban the future construction of minarets in Switzerland? Though supporters of the ?yes? side fought a hard campaign that some have called racist, and Islamophobic, it was widely believed among pundits that the referendum would be handily defeated. The final tally reads otherwise. All together, 57.5 per cent of Swiss citizens who cast ballots supported the ban, as did twenty-two of Switzerland?s twenty-six cantons (roughly equivalent to states).”

Democracy and secularism in Switzerland


When I first heard about the decision of the Swiss people on minarets, I felt what I felt when the US was enslaved by the ?Bushist? spell and ceased to become a beacon — however imperfect — of pluralism, multiculturalism, common sense, tolerance, human rights and open-mindedness.

The Swiss voted to ban minarets that no one intends to build in order to defend themselves against an Islam that has never existed in Switzerland.
Ian Buruma: Minarets are threatening because they rub salt in the wounds of those who feel the loss of their own faith

Switzerland proves Soroush right


Switzerland?s minaret ban took me back to a joint European Union-Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting that took place in İstanbul seven years ago. The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was not in power then. The event was one of the visionary moves of then-Foreign Minister İsmail Cem.

Is Brussels to blame for the minaret moment?

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

In yesterday’s New York Times, Ross Douthat argued that the populist backlash that led to Switzerland’s minaret ban is the result of the European Union’s increasingly undemocratic style of governance, notwithstanding the fact, as he acknowledges, that Switzerland is not an EU member:

Europe?s multiculturalism test by NAZİFE ŞİŞMAN

One of the posters used during the ?stop the minarets? referendum campaign showed a menacing woman in a burqa beside minarets that resemble missiles being launched from the Swiss flag.


A few weeks ago, I found myself walking through a Swiss village?OK, it was really a Geneva suburb?called Nyon. Still, it looked like a village: There was a castle on the hill and some Roman ruins. There were a few shops and a nice view of the lake.


A surprise vote to bar new minarets suggests that suspicion between faiths and cultures, even in calm democracies, runs deeper than liberal types admit

Swiss minaret controversy and future of Europe


The Swiss minaret controversy supports Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan?s claim that it is Europe, not Turkey, which is going through a shift of axis.

What was our mistake in Switzerland?


The ban on minaret construction in Switzerland has led to our experiencing historical déjà vu and the fear of a return to the Europe of the Middle Ages. The emergence of such a referendum result even in a country like Switzerland, which is generally accepted to have achieved a level of civilization that exceeds the European average, has led to widespread unease. Switzerland has left Europe face-to-face with a great reactionary danger.

Assessment of Switzerland?s ban on minarets from the perspective of the ECtHR by CÜNEYT YÜKSEL

In the 21st century, the level of culture and development of a person in particular and society at large is measured against the care and respect shown towards human rights and freedoms.

Egypt: When did Saudi Arabia become Switzerland’s role model?

from Global Voices Online by Marwa Rakha

On Sunday, November 29, 57.5% of Swiss voters approved a ban on the construction of new minarets atop mosques, paving the way for a constitutional amendment.  The referendum will affect the construction of new minarets (not mosques) and will not affect Switzerland’s four existing minarets. Jillian York covered the initial reactions from the Arab and Muslim blogosphere. The ban is still creating ripples of tension among the supporters and opposition.

Schroder Condemns Minaret Ban and Renews Support for Turkey’s EU Membership

The former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroder, is renewing his support for Turkish membership in the European Union. Schroder wrote in a comment for the Germany weekly newspaper Die Zeit, that “Turkey is a bridge between Europe and the Middle East – this cannot be rated highly enough and is in our European interests. For this reason the accession of Turkey to the European Union is from a high security-political importance for the whole continent.”

1 thought on “Minaret referendum updates (2)”

  1. Erkan,
    The last article of this ‘intelectual’ reminds me about an article Orhan Kemal Gendiz wrote why there is in fact not a fruitful intelectual discussion in Turkey: lack of self reflection.
    I bet you this Nazıfe never experienced to live one day abroad and her article is good for a junior highschool. Wanted to reply to here but since Zaman only accept possitive comments, I don’t bother.
    Is multi culturalism not a crime by the Turkish constitution?


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