Two cheers for the Swiss.
From the Brunei Times:
Members of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, currently the largest party in the Swiss parliament, have launched a campaign to have the building of minarets banned.
They claim the minaret is not necessary for worship, but is rather a symbol of Islamic law, and as such incompatible with Switzerland’s legal system.
Signatures are now being collected to force a nationwide referendum on the issue which, under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, would be binding.
The move has shocked Switzerland’s 350,000 Muslims, many of whom have been campaigning for decades for more recognition for their faith.
A recent opinion poll for one Swiss newspaper found that 43 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of a ban on minarets.
“We have our civil laws here,” insisted Freysinger. “Banning minarets would send a clear signal that our European laws, our Swiss laws, have to be accepted. And if you want to live here, you must accept them. If you don’t, then go back.”
“I think Swiss Muslims will be angry and bitter over this,” said Reinhard Schulze, professor of Islamic Studies at Berne University. “And we know that anger and bitterness among a community can lead to radicalisation, even to militancy.”
Boy, you said it Reinhard. Resisting the spread of religious fascism is a sure way to get it mad at you. Much better to go with the flow.
The Swiss government is extremely nervous about the prospect of militancy among Swiss Muslims; three cabinet ministers have already spoken out against the campaign to ban minarets.
There is also a growing fear that the debate will damage Switzerland’s traditionally good relations with the Arab world.
And wouldn’t that just ruin everything? I mean, how could Switzerland even exist if not for the Arabs?