Comments:Religious and political leaders criticise Swiss ban on minarets

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Does anybody know why this was passed? I don't really understand why a certain type of architecture has been banned. Is this an aesthetic thing? There are a few towns where I live where all buildings are made to look a hundred years old, even the McDonalds'. I think it's nice, and though there hasn't been an issue with the Muslim community *that I know of*, these are just tourist towns. But to legislatively homogenize the architecture of an *entire nation* seems incredibly excessive, and if I were Muslim I can imagine being at least a little offended.

I believe it has to do with the political symbolism of the minarets. According to the main Wiki article, minarets are mentionned nowhere in islamic holy scripture, and are instead seen as a symbol of political islam, and the supposed self-segregation practiced by islamic communities in their refusal to abandon certain practices some Westerners find offensive (covering women up, forced marriages, honor killings, poor social integration, poor language acquisition, etc). That is my understanding of the situation; it's not the minarets themselves, but what they represent.
But that's what I don't get, isn't the minaret supposed to be a "call to prayer" tower? Functionally it's just a loudspeaker system with a priest on top right? How is that any different from a church's bell tower? I (disagree but) could understand if some political group wanted to ban head scarves; but a tower just seems a bit ridiculous. I could understand if you couldn't build them in certain areas, because of building codes/zoning, perhaps near an airport or something. The outright ban however doesn't seem justifiable. I mean, people aren't calling for bans on church steeples because the bible says you can kill people for adultery or whatever.


I find it very interesting that muslims are upset about this. but i highly doubt that in most muslim countries it would be allowed if a church like lets say the morman church, who are considered to be devil worshipers by muslims, would be allowed to have a temple with a golden statue blowing a trumpet. Just a thought.

I love switzerland.

the swiss are stopping themselves from becoming like the UK. an ad campaign with a picture of a puppy is banned because dogs are "offensive" to them.

Really? I'd like to see a source for that puppy claim, though I suspect you don't have one. the wub "?!" 11:36, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

The difference between Western Europe and Islamofascist countries is supposed to be freedom - and that should include the right for property owners to build what they would like to build on land they own (within zoning ordinations, of course). Singling out minarets because of "political implications" is garbage - no better than outlawing pictures of dogs because muslims don't like them. This isn't a victory for anyone - everyone loses when the government decides on another thing you can't do.

  • The near-fascist rightwing groups lapping this up are, well, something to guard against. I strongly suspect they would not have been so happy had the law also outlawed church belltowers over a certain height and able to 'output' at a certain volume. That would have been more reasonable - but, unfortunately, there is a double standard. There's many a self-proclaimed Christian who lives too close to the church woke on a Sunday morning with a hangover and cursed the guilt-inducing bells summoning them to prayers. Religion should be private. Churches, mosques, synagogues should all be allowed - but never an overbearing and domeering presence in the community. The really bad side of this law is where it may encourage hatred of Muslims, or Muslim feelings of persecution. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:23, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • (Sarcasm) Come on! Surely you don't mean it's bad to withold the special privelige of Swiss Muslims to have a mosque in their community! After all, the majority only ever denies the special priveliges to minorities... (/Sarcasm) I honestly hope the European courts see this law for the crap that it is and tell the Swiss where to stick it. On the other hand, I hope the Muslim community doesn't take things to the wrong extreme and further mar the appearence of their religion in European eyes... --CyberStormAlpha (talk) 13:49, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • No, I'm saying I like the idea of outlawing minarets but only if you also outlaw church belltowers. A minaret is not a mosque, and virtually everyone on the planet can afford an alarm clock. The historical need to remind people they should go and pray is gone - whether for Christians or Muslims. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:10, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I could see going to the other extreme as well, and making a flat ban against all like structures. However, I don't see it being applied equally, no matter what the letter of the law says. Further, would not those already constructed be grandfathered in, rendering the point moot to begin with? --CyberStormAlpha (talk) 14:49, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Absolutely. The whole thing is a can of worms. You have to grandfather in existing structures - you could be talking about a World Heritage site for all I know. I think I've met more self-proclaimed Christians who are obnoxious about proselyting than Muslims. I'm just hapy the fastest-growing religion is Buddhism, and I use "I'm a non-theistic Buddhist" as my get-out-of-jail free card when any faith turns up on the doorstep to evangelise; a far cry from as a teenager when friends and I invited in the Mormon missionaries and said, "you want to talk God? That's serious, we need some beer to really get into the conversation." :-P --Brian McNeil / talk 14:59, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Switzerland is not part of the EU. They are signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, but not its discrimination protocol. I don't know if European courts could do anything about this law. Even if they technically could, it would not go down well as the Swiss are very protective of their direct democracy and their independence (bear in mind they only became full members of the UN after a referendum in 2002). the wub "?!" 14:30, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

I think that this ban is the first on Islam, modern times, and that Christianity, unlike Islam, has been far more tolerate than the latter. There are several Islamic countries, hostile toward their Christian populations (not even allowing churches), and these should be being addressed instead of seeking out the majority voted ban on a peaceful country, as Switzerland. Shame on all the cowards that feel safe taking the side of the real enemy fanatical Islam-

Mixed feelings, personallyEdit

Now I consider myself a social liberal, so obviously, the blow here to religious freedom is categorically wrong and undemocratic.


Religion itself is undeniably a huge problem in this world. I value freedom of every sort, but religion at its core seeks to take certain freedoms away.

In a perfect world, there would be no religion. But because there is, every religion should be allowed to express itself in a non-violent, non-destructive way.

The Swiss government is imposing, and they are in the wrong here. Not to mention, what is to be done about the dozens of minarets that already exist in Switzerland?