And why not? Surely Muslims allow churches to flourish and tower high in Dar al-Islam, allowing Christians to exclaim five times a day, on megaphones, that “Jesus is the Son of God!” Oh, they don’t; oh, some Muslim nations don’t even allow the construction of churches. Never mind, then. More on this story. “Swiss government opposes minaret ban ahead of vote,” from the AP, August 27:
The Federal Council recommended on Wednesday rejecting the ban when it goes to popular referendum in two months.
The coalition government includes all major political factions except the right-wing Swiss People’s Party. It is the strongest in the country and most supportive of the ban.
The government says the proposal violates human rights and the Swiss constitution and would not help combat Islamic fundamentalism.
Supporters of the ban say the minaret is a symbol of Muslim conquest that challenges traditional order in Switzerland.
That it most certainly is. According to the subscription-only Brill Online Encyclopedia of Islam: “[T]hroughout the mediaeval period, the role of the minaret oscillated between two polarities: as a sign of power and as an instrument for the adhan (call to prayer). However, in evidence that it was mostly viewed as a sign of power, the entry concludes: “It [the minaret] seems on the whole unrelated to its function of the adhan calling the faithful to prayer, which can be made quite adequately from the roof of the mosque or even from the house-top.” Not to mention, devout Muslims are supposed to know when to pray and shouldn’t need constant reminding.