The organisers of the petition argue that the minarets, which are used on mosques, are a symbol of political and religious claims to power, not just a religious sign.
SchlÃ¼er said last year: “We’ve got nothing against prayer rooms or mosques for the Muslims. But a minaret is different. It’s got nothing to do with religion; it’s a symbol of political power.” — from this news story
Of course the minaret is not necessary. Wahhabi mosques don’t have minarets at all, and disapprove of them. It cannot be argued that Muslims need to have minarets from which a non-existent muezzin will utter the Call To Prayer (which is not permitted because of sound zoning laws), or that they need them even where a Call To Prayer is allowed, since if it is played and then amplified electronically, there is no conceivable need for height.
Are there any devices that tell the time in Switzerland? Yes, there are. Do Muslims all over the world now have access to clocks, and watches? Yes, they do. Do they possess, on their calendars, in their fancy agenda books (oh, those rich Arabs, with their briefcases and their agenda books, and their Rolex watches, and their everything, all of it so completely, grotesquely, underearned, unmerited), or even homelier models for the just-us-folks Muslims, telling them the exact time of each of the five canonical prayers, in the tiniest town or village anywhere in the world? Of course they do.
The minaret is merely a sign of power. It is a sign of dominion over the nearby churches and synagogues. Why do you think that, according to the Shari’a, no church or synagogue can be built higher than a nearby mosque? Why do you think that mosques were always built on the highest ground? For a nice example, see the mosque in Grenada that was opened a few years ago. The Spanish government thought it would be a great idea. They thought it would be a demonstration of real “tolerance” for Muslims that would somehow be reciprocated. Of course it wasn’t. That mosque looms over a convent and a church, and with its Call to Prayer has disrupted the quiet lives of the nuns, who actually dared to protest. To no avail. Of course.
Minarets are claims of power. They are claims to dominance. That is what they are. And that is what these Swiss, who were called — you know what they were called — “far right-wing” Swiss, have properly identified. And therefore they have petitioned for a referendum to be held.
I saw yesterday, at 2 p.m., on the French channel, a French-language report from Switzerland. It showed the petitions being delivered with their 114,685 signatures. There was some patter about the government “being worried.”
But think of it. If it is just a “far-right party” that was behind this petition, then the Swiss government should have no trouble at all holding a referendum on the matter. After all, how many votes can these “extremists” in this “far-right party” possibly get?
Why, practically none. I’m sure that those nearly 115,000 signatures constitute the entire membership of that “far-right party.”
I’m sure you’ll agree. I”m sure everyone will agree. So surely the Swiss government will forthwith obey its own rules, and now that the appropriate number of signatures has indeed been gathered, it will hold that referendum, and hold it quickly.
Switzerland is a democracy, isn’t it? You know, William Tell, and a citizen’s army, holding out for months in mountain redoubts against possible totalitarian enemies that might invade from without, and all that? So what could possibly be wrong with holding a referendum, and Letting The Swiss People Speak?
Could it be that the invasion they are worried about is not one that any citizens in mountain redoubts can repel, but instead it consists of those who are already within the country, and who are growing in numbers and in power, and in the ability to influence the Swiss government’s own ability to respond — as has been demonstrated most vividly in that Swiss government’s reluctant or even hostile response to this very petition by its very own citizens, for a referendum on minarets to be held?