Call to Prejudice: Swiss to Vote on Ban on Mosque Minarets

The Swiss are poised to vote on a disturbing attack on religion: a ban on minarets on mosques used for the adhan (call to prayer). If passed, the referendum this Sunday would be a clear denial of a basic human right for Muslims and an act of popular intolerance against a minority group.

The measure is the work of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party. The organizer is Ulrich Schlüer, who insists that “The minaret has got nothing to do with religion. It’s a symbol of political power, a prelude to the introduction of sharia law.”

While it is true that the first minarets appeared 80 years after Muhammad’s death, they do play a significant role in the calling of the faithful and providing the faithful with a visual vantage point — much like a church bell tower served to call to Christians. It is odd that the party is not seeking a ban on church towers.

For the full story, click here.

31 thoughts on “Call to Prejudice: Swiss to Vote on Ban on Mosque Minarets”

  1. Byron,
    Think about it I’m Jewish and I support Israel, why am I not bitterly denouncing Islam? Perhaps it’s because the actions of some, do not per se denote the actions of all. To me the enemy is not any religion, but the Fundamentalists who try to hijack it for their own hate filled purposes. As far as LDS goes I do have some bitterness towards them for their “conversion” of Jews who died in the Shoah, which to me was a sign of ultimate disrespect for the Jewish People.
    Plus if you want to read about the workings of LDS, there is a book called “The Morman Murders,” written and well-documented by a NY Times reporter, that provides some interesting details. My point is simply that no religion should be singled out, when others are left unscathed.

  2. Mike S:

    Mormons don’t advocate, as far as I know, for the usurpation of liberty and the application of religious law from the 8th century.

    They also don’t have prayer calls at 5 am.

  3. Byron,
    I’ve seen that Mormon Temple from the highway and it was impressive in bulk, if not architecture. It was actually stunning in the sense it did seem like something out of the Wizard of Oz. This highlights the problem with the Swiss ban which is whose religious practices and architecture get banned and if specifically one religion, why not all?

  4. “Switzerland has one of the most advanced Bill of Rights in the world. The U.S. should have those rights spelled out as clearly.”

    This may be true, but the Swiss served as the bankers for the NAZI’s during WWII. held Jewish belongings in their banks, refused to allow Jews refuge during WWII and even today have prevented Jews from recovering their money stolen by Germany in WWII. While they talk a good democratic game, their notion is limited to themselves alone.

    Secondly, as someone upstream mentioned previously if this was also a ban on church steeples and church bells, than there would be some sense of equity. It isn’t though and nobody in Switzerland would dare advocating such a ban and remain politically viable. The true test of any democracy is how it protects its minorities from the harassment of the majority. Switzerland has failed at that for many years.

  5. speaking of the Mormons, they have a temple in Maryland just north of DC which can be seen from the beltway (I-495) around DC. As you are coming from east to west, the temple rises above the tree line and bears some resemblance to the city of Oz. On a well placed bridge, framing the temple spires, someone wrote “Surrender Dorothy”. Not all shared my appreciation and it was eventually painted over. It was a classic. And indicative of what I know about that religion.

  6. @ Former Federal LEO:

    “I regard all religions with equal contempt.”

    Wow, man, I couldn’t have said it better…

  7. Pete Moran 1, November 28, 2009 at 12:41 am

    I have solutions for all these problems; don’t let the parents brain wash the children with “their” version of “a” truth/religion.

    Think about it.

    Ok, now what if they are all brain washed? to wit, David Korseh, Jim Jones, Charles Manson to begin the list?

  8. JF, thanks for the clarification, I admit I did not respond to the linked article but rather to Takoma and my incorrect assumption that the use of the minaret was of major concern.

  9. I have solutions for all these problems; don’t let the parents brain wash the children with “their” version of “a” truth/religion.

    Think about it.

  10. An American female exec in Citibank relate to me how she went uot into the garden on the weekend to trim the hedge and the neighbour came running out of her back door yelling and waving her arms “No, no no” stopping her and telling her it was forbidden to do gardening on a Sunday. Bigots.

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