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November 30, 2009
Swiss voters want to outlaw Islamic religious structure

Swiss voters have approved a highly controversial ban on the building of minarets across the country.

Originally proposed by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, the measure was condemned by the Swiss parliament, which said the ban would promote the interests of extremists.

The U.N. human rights watchdog also announced its concern about the measure.

Dr. Peter Mandaville is an Associate Professor at George Mason and the co-director of the the school’s Center for Global Studies. He joins Daljit Dhaliwal to discuss the Swiss referendum forbidding the building of new minarets in Switzerland. Mandaville argues that the measure represents how concerns over the growth of Islam in Europe have become conflated with fear of Islamic extremism.

Do you think Switzerland was justified in banning the construction of minarets?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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Comments

162 comments

#162

I agree with comment #155. Organized dogma, commonly called religion, has been the cause of more war, division, intolerance and hatred than anything else in the human experience. I personally long for the day when the human race comes to see this clearly, and rejects organized dogma in favor of direct communion with higher consciousness. We don’t need buildings or books. The Creator is nearer to us than our own breath, and we have only to reach out, with an open heart, for guidance, understanding and love. Direct experience with the Creator is vital, personal and available to all. Teach your children these things instead.

#161

Sigh, Europe seems to be going towards its old habits again. This seems to be really analogous to what Hitler’s party started doing to the Jews back in the days before WW2 :/

#160

Stand your ground, God bless the Swiss for stopping
the Islamification of Switzerland.

Leftists will call this intolerance …. the left
show their intolerance of those who simply
stand for the sovereignty of their own nation.
Did the left cry intolerance when the islamic
countries banned the building of churches in
islamic countries?

#159

If the majority of Swiss can ban minarets, then what’s to stop them from banning, say, Jewish synagogues or any religion in the future?

#158

The overwhelming response here has been positive about the vote in Switzerland. The Muslims should take note and spend their money in Andalusia. Spain’s economy desperately needs the cash and the climate is more hospitable throughout the year. Why try to ingratiate if you are unwelcome? Give the real estate market in both countries a break for opposing reasons.

#157

I am french and in france all churchs for long time have tower and bell . later the MADELEINE church in paris was build like a ROMAIN temple with no tower and bell but still is a church , the swiis don’t want minarets this is there right and muslim need to respect them and maybe the muslim need to build a mosque look like a swiss chlet and make the swiss happy

#156

Stand your ground Switzerland! Good job!

#155

The Swiss have the right idea. The world can no longer tolerate religious influences in our society. Religion is a major cause of human suffering. This includes Christianity, Islam and all other religions and superstition based belief systems. If it hurts Islam’s feeling to knock down the towers it is too bad. Their killing of so many thousands of innocent animals in Mecca hurts my feeling too. Get over it and join the human race.

#154

More info from the Wikipedia:

Holocaust victims
5.7 million (78%) of the 7.3 million Jews in German dominated Europe perished in the war.-[14,242-244] Estimates for Holocaust deaths range between 5.1 to 6.0 million Jews.[61] Other groups persecuted and killed by the Nazis [80][60] [49] [48] [17]. included 130,000 to 500,000 Gypsies [48] [50] [62]; 150,000 to 200,000 handicapped persons [51] ; 2.6 to 3 million Soviet prisoners of war[52]; 1.8 to 1.9 million Poles [38]; 4.5 to 8.2 million Soviet civilians [53][60] [48]; about 10,000 Gay men[54]; about 1,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses [55]; between 1,000 to 2,000 Roman Catholic clergy [57] and an unknown number of Freemasons [56]. “The fate of black people from 1933 to 1945 in Nazi Germany and in German-occupied territories ranged from isolation to persecution, sterilization, medical experimentation, incarceration, brutality, and murder.” [58] During the Nazi era Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, and trade union leaders were victims of Nazi persecution . [90]
Prisoner of war deaths in Nazi captivity totaled 3.1 Million[17,Table A]
Japanese War Crimes
R. J. Rummel estimates the civilian victims of Japanese war crimes at 5,424,000. Detailed by country: China 3,695,000; Indochina 457,000; Korea 378,000; Indonesia 375,000; Malaya-Singnapore 283,000; Philippines 119,000, Burma 60,000 and Pacific Islands 57,000. [4, Chap.3]..[5,Table 5A]
Werner Gruhl estimates the civilian victims of Japanese war crimes at 20,365,000. Detailed by country: China 12,392,000; Indochina 1,500,000; Korea 500,000; Dutch East Indies 3,000,000; Malaya and Singnapore 100,000 ; Philippines 500,000; Burma 170,000; Forced laborers in Southeast Asia 70,000, 30,000 interned non-Asian civilians; Timor 60,000; Thailand and Pacific Islands 60,000.[111]
Werner Gruhl estimates POW deaths in Japanese captivity at 331,584. Detailed by country: China 270,000; Netherlands 8,500; U.K. 12,433; Canada 273; Philippines 20,000; Australia 7,412; New Zealand 31; and the United States 12,935[111]
Victims of Soviet Repression
The deaths of 400,000 civilians deported during the Soviet annexations in 1939-40 are included with World War II casualties.[47][3,].
Prisoner of war deaths totaled 600,000 in Soviet captivity [7,278] [3,].

#153

To #106 and #127

The Wikipedia lists as follows for all casualties in WWII, Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, North America, all of the participants. :

Totals:

Total population: 1,963,208,400 (1939 population)

Military: 22,597,200 to 25,497,500

Civilian: 34,564,600 to 47,009,600

Jews: 5,752,400 (remember this represents 50.00% of the Jewish
population, all civilians and includes 1,000,000
children, and of course these are my numbers,
Wikipediof considers the Jews as part of the
different nations)

Total: 62,294,200 to 78,439,200

Percent: 3.17% to 4.00% (as % of 1939 population}

#152

12/01/2009 :: 11:03:57 AM
To: #127rank Says: The Jews are the most vocal about their losses in WWII. And their losses are not the largest. It all depends how you look at it.

Well the Jews lost 50% of their population, only civilians including one million children, mostly burned in the concentration camps.

The closest was the USSR loosing 13.6% (includes 5.4% of military casualties) so really they lost 8.2% of civilians. An excludes the Jews.

See the listings in the Wikipedia.

I am not really answering to you, is a waste of time to deal with bigots.

I am setting the facts straight. I lost most of my family. My parents were lucky to escape the Holocaust, so I was born in the American continent.

I will be very vocal until I pass away.

#151

01 Dec 2009 10:32 am
The Iranian Holocaust Cartoon-Industrial Complex

I meant to post this earlier, from Graeme Wood’s excellent Iran adventures. Some of the output from Iran’s thriving Holocaust cartoon industry:

#150

the blog should be entered as follows:

jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/

#149

http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/

#148

The famous Danish cartoons :

This led to protests across the Muslim world, some of which escalated into violence with police firing on the crowds (resulting in more than 100 deaths, all together),[1] including setting fire to the Danish Embassies in Syria, Lebanon and Iran, storming European buildings, and desecrating the Danish, Dutch, Norwegian and German flags in Gaza City.

Now we have the Iranian cartoons about the Holocaust and become outraged, sad, and hurt.

See the blog: http://www.jeffreygoldberg.theatlanti.com

#147

And there is the famous cartoons in Denmark.
It produced rage in the Muslim countries.

From the Wikipedia:

“This led to protests across the Muslim world, some of which escalated into violence with police firing on the crowds (resulting in more than 100 deaths, all together),[1] including setting fire to the Danish Embassies in Syria, Lebanon and Iran, storming European buildings, and desecrating the Danish, Dutch, Norwegian and German flags in Gaza City.

And now we have the cartoons in Iran about the Holocaust.

See: http://jeffreygoldberg.the Atlantic.gov

Should there be demonstrations of rage and violence? or just sadness at this outrage of Iranian islamofascism?

#146

Then there was the fracas about the Danish cartoons about the Prophet Mohammed , that led to protests across the Muslim world, some of which escalated into violence with police firing on the crowds (resulting in more than 100 deaths, all together),[1] including setting fire to the Danish Embassies in Syria, Lebanon and Iran, storming European buildings, and desecrating the Danish, Dutch, Norwegian and German flags in Gaza City.

But now look at the Iranian cartoons about the Holocaust:

http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com

Should we produce riots of rage? Or just a sad feeling about Iranian islamofascism in action?

#145

Switzerland has 7+ million populatio.

France prohibited waring veils by women in public.
France has 64+million people.

Then also from some data about France http://www.cia.gov

Ethnic groups:

Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
overseas departments: black, white, mulatto, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian
Religions:

Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
overseas departments: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, pagan
Languages:

French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
overseas departments: French, Creole patois
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)

#144

Just giving info about Switzerland from http://www.cia.gov

Ethnic groups:

German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%
Religions:

Roman Catholic 41.8%, Protestant 35.3%, Muslim 4.3%, Orthodox 1.8%, other Christian 0.4%, other 1%, unspecified 4.3%, none 11.1% (2000 census)
Languages:

German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 2.8% (2000 census)
note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languages
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)

#143

Of course the Swiss have Roger Federer the super champion of Tennis.

And in just past World Soccer Cup of the sub-17 they won the championship by beating between others Nigeria in the final and Brazil during the tournament. Their best player is a Muslim, ironic.

The Swiss are qualifiers for the Soccer World cup to take place next year in South Africa. Ireland was eliminated and France just squeezed by.

Just posting news on Switzerland.

#142

By the way the Swiss did not take Jewish refugees because they were afraid the Nazis would invade their country. However they took the German Jew Richard Willsttatter a Nobel winner who discovered chlorophyl and invented paper chomatography .

Of course we now know that the Pope Pius Xii was silent about the Holocaust, and during Hitler in power he was a Cardinal in Germany. Again the reason given to be afraid of Nazis invading the Vatican. Although his anti-Jewish feelings are well known. He is being promoted to become a Saint.

#141

Serge, are you suggesting that 51% of the Swiss population OWNS or should own the private property of the rest of the population at any given moment? The Muslims in Switzerland ARE part of the Swiss population by definition as long as they are citizens. If you, Serge, are an American citizen or an immigrant here in America, it appears that you have not “assimilated” any of our traditional American values of private property ownership or freedom of religion.

#140

I understand that the center-right and extreme right is a response to Islamic extremism. It good be better to outlaw Imams that propagate
extremism ,oppression and incitement to violence against civilians.

Also it is good news that Denmark is becoming energy independent and France is using nuclear energy, both approaches to stop petrodollars promoting Islamic extremism.

On more info, the guards that protect the Pope in Rome are all Swiss.

And in the thing of the past, there is a conversation in the film The Third Man where Orson Wells, a known criminal, tells Joseph Cotten that during the reign of the Borgias in Italy, crime and violence was rampant, these produced Michael Angelo, Leonardo da Vince and the Renaissance. While in Switzerland 500 years of peace and democracy produced the Cuckoo Clock.

But now we have activists in Switzerland reacting to Islamo fascism.

#139

For the Swiss i agree with them , this is there land , culture and they have the right to decide if they don’t want minaret next door , muslim need to respect Swiss what they want in there own land , bravo the swiss to show the way for the rest of europe, many muslim coutry don’t want big church or synagogue next door and we respect what they want in there on land , so we need to respect what the swiss want in there land

#138

The best muslim country i like is Maroco , i am a french jews and for many years have good marocain friend , Turkish are great muslim peoples , muslim can be great again if they want, all muslim need to looke to the future and not the past and be great again and give a better picture of be a muslim , but muslim do not take as a example Saoudi Arabia and the golf state with there big yacht and palace and big car , when million of muslim are very poor and need this money for better education , the image the muslim give to the world is a bad image the rest of the world do not want this image , Muslim change this image and you will change the heart of your Christian and Jews brother continu to send a image of terrorist , intolerance and palace and the world will reject you

#137

I’m glad switzerland is voting on banning Minarets
may be more muslim will stay home.

#136

power for EUROPe and SWISS………….FREEDOM PARTY

#135

Why the fuss in the US over this? IN the US,its Illegal to display anything of Christian origin in all public schools, public buildings, court houses, no saying prayers in schools, no display of bible by students, no wearing any religious clothing in places of business, schools,
its even now nearly illegal to say. “Merry Christmas” to someone.
Why the fuss??

#134

Good old xenophobia whipped-up by the conservative radical right. Muslims aren’t the only ones who have power hungry right-wing fascists. Europeans, like their American counterparts aren’t as civilized as they like to think.
The United States is undergoing a resurgence by the progeny of the Ku klux Klan. Out of the sewers they come.

#133

Congratulations on a European Nation that finally found the courage and resolve to stand-up against Islamic activism and expansion within its borders! Europe has collectively burried their heads in the sand while Islamism threatens their faith, culture and even their safety and security! Instead of assimilating, immigrated Muslims, some now in the third generation, are moving in the opposite direction, many radicalized and striving for pre-eminance and the imposition of Shariah Law! In too many instances all over the world the Mosque is being co-opted by radicalism and the Jihad mentality that feeds terrorism. It is said that all the territory which can be seen from the minaret belongs to Islam. Outlawing these things is a good first step in drawing a line in the sand to stop the advance and agenda of Islamism in a community and culture. The express goal of Islam is to spread it’s faith throughout the world by Jihad, to implement Shariah Law, and to restore a world Caliphate. Mosques and Minaretes are an important component of that ideology! Once Shariah Law dominates, other religions are invariably restricted, persecuted or even outlawed! Every advance of Islam is a test to determine the weakest place to establish a foothold and then an enclave for further expansion. Countries that do not have the courage or the will to resist this steady advance will be its victims and the host for Islamic agenda!

#132

I always try to be unbiased,but the polarization of the world today is becoming worrisome (to the n’th degree)to say the least. What the Hajj Pilgrimage can ,and must accomplish: “all I hear…all I see,hatred,and violence on the tele..24/7 shouting obscenities tethered to modernized music’s visual sadistical gyrations to the bloodthirst beat of mankinds astrayed sanity gone wildly off-tempo,….societies of individuals addicted to drinking-up the frothy daily dosage of systematically measured,and conjoined to unlimitless bottled-up anxiety…all to soon drowning in our own bellicose behavior…intervention no where to be found,…but not for the mysterious creator’s infinite omnipresence awareness summoned by his earthly offsprings internal cries for redemption;…deep inside we genuflect,begging for the release of this overbearing pent-up anger…somehow embryonically supplanted…this paternal instinct of nonsensical battle embedded from primordial time,…manifesting as if by Satan himself,…using modern time technological instruments scripted for commission by a dillusional ghostwriter wailing oscilations of this entities unwarranted message subtly traversing within our once forgiving unforsakening heart;…ah,but only love is the answer,always shadowed by forgiveness to one’s very self-conscience,enabling mankind to escape back into the Creator’s salvation,…turn around the negative energy manifested by anger that dances with hatred…turn it upside-down relishing the other sides bounty of positive blissful forgiveness…never to be divorced from love;…this is what our creator originated from the beginning,that of firmly placing our infantile footing so as to be grounded to his spiritual omnipresence simply by beckoning the creator with prayer,and homage…turn your spirit within…upward all,always head-on-high never more weighted by your ill-conceived thoughts of mindless guilt,…now is the time during prayer to align your moral compass to the innate values of intrinsically gifted perceptions that all of mankind has been endowed with by the one creator since the beginning of time,…the gift of tolerance is a humble,blissful guiding light that reveals to mankind the true inward path to the meaning of life;…that being the proliferation of peace for all,and bannishment of war,…let us all set our minds internal organic-metronomic clock to the oceansgentle waves,and breeze,tweaked only by the incoming-outgoing tides…rhythmically drumming softly during times of calm as to share in our eternal pleasures to come;…this I pray as mankind walks away with enlightenment for world peace…”

#131

Perhaps Switzerland is not violating any human rights. Afterall, Muslims are not deprived of their religion, neither are their mosques taken away from them. And a bunch of towers not even being used to call for prayer but merely a symbol of their mosque…whats the big deal?! However, they ARE being discriminated based on their religion. Churches are not restricted in their architecture, are they? Moreover, to compare Switzerland to Saudi Arabia is stupid!! Switzerland, and so the rest of Europe, tries to be everything Islamic totalitarian states are not: free and fair! Of course, if they (Islamic/Arab countries) ban Christianity in its entirety, Switzerland has every right too, but how does that contribute to Western values and principles? And to say that if the Muslims in Switzerland want those minarets they should ‘go home’…as if being muslim means not being Swiss?! I am Dutch and Muslim…my home is the Netherlands and so I want to be treated equally to all other Dutch people. If the Swiss government acts on the will of the people, and if the European Court of Human Rights does not find it a violation of human rights, so be it. But then I don’t see a difference anymore between the Swiss and Saudi government and will have no reason to be proud to live in free and fair Europe!

#130

All counties have zoning codes that specifiy what type of building can be built. In Phoenix there is an issue with the construction of a Morman temple in a residential area. Sedona does’t allow yellow in signs to keep McDonalds out of town, so the “Golden Arches” are turquoise. What’s the big deal. When you can put up a cross or the star of David in a muslim country without being killed, then you can call the Swiss intolerant.

#129

Let me get this straight. The Swiss are called intolerant for banning the construction of minarets while in Islamic countries, Christians are being killed and churches destroyed. In Saudi Arabia the public profession and practice of any faith other than Islam is forbidden. I did not read that mosques were being banned, just minarets. Yet it is forbidden to build a church in Saudi Arabia. Hmmmm. What is wrong with this picture? Besides this, it is not Islam as a religion that people are coming against. It is the total societal program of Islam. Note that Christianity can coexist nicely under any form of government and societal mores whereas Islam demands the host society conform to its dictates and political leanings. Wake up. Islam is a system, not merely a faith.

#128

[…] From WNET’s Worldfocus, here’s an interview with Dr. Peter Mandaville of George Mason University’s Center for Global Studies. He joins host Daljit Dhaliwal to discuss the Swiss referendum. […]

#127

Regarding #106 Tom L’s figures: The Encyclopedia Britannica, a conservative source, puts the number civilian deaths resulting from WWII at between 35 and 65 million. The 24 million figure is probably closer to the number of Slavs killed. No rational person can dispute the horror suffered by the Jewish victims of the Nazis and their allies, but they are not the only group, nor the largest, just the most vocal.

#126

Odd that architecture should be targetted. This story didn’t clarify the relationship to Sharia law and if that is what’s seen as lack of assimilation.

#125

YES !!!

#124

Last month the European Court of Human Rights told Italy to remove crucifixes from its schools despite the agreement of the Italian people many decades ago to have them, a recognition for them of their faith, culture and heritage.

Muslims in Switzerland still may have their mosques, yet Christians and Jews and others in Saudia Arabia, and other Muslim countries, may not practice their faith nor excercise the human right of freedom of conscience, let alone have churches or synagogues.

It’s time for reciprocity.

#123

Assalamallikum,
Church spires were first built in imitation of minerets (kubah). The christians used bells even before Muhammad(saws) as shown in sahih hadith. Yet many American towns ban church bells at certain times or entirely –if you live closeby the bells are a noise polluting nusaince. But the Swiss vote did not define ‘mineret’, which is important because they come in many shapes –like square towers (Hasan II memorial, Morocco currently the tallest(213m) until the Iranians complete one at 230m). If the Swiss ban “square” towers then that would include the towers of the Swiss CastleGrande –a piece of their own heritage! Politically, the Swiss vote is another example of how a population can be ‘hyped’/hijacked into an emotionally driven agenda –like some of the comments about Nazis below, or the Americans over WMD and the Iraq War.
A mineret does not lead to Sharia anymore than municipal zoning leads to homelessness or christianity.
About the comments below: I agree with #119 Jeff in SJ, MarcyM@113, and Shak@111. However -to single one out- Tom L @1O7 “forgot” that the President of Lebanon has to be Christian: at French/Rome insistance. What Hypo-crites maybe some people are.

#122

Yes, ban the minurets! Switzerland is SWITZERLAND! People travel to see and experiance different cultures. If you MUST HAVE your culture surrounding you 24/7, GO BACK HOME! Religion, culture and architecture change in conqured countries. Build a chalet! You’re in Switzerland. Let France be French- speak French there. Let Italy be Italy-learn Italian! That goes for Americans also. Going to another country? Embrace the culture of the country you live in and keep the one you came from in your heart and home, for holidays-whatever. Can’t do that? Then GO HOME where “YOU” can be “YOU”. Hey Arab-Muslim Dad’s – if you want your children NOT to become “Westernized”- take them HOME! That will save you from HAVING TO kill them to save them.

#121

It starts with Minarets.
And then, it will be prayers, swimming pools, food, etc. etc.
Where does it end ???

BRAVO SWITZERLAND

P.S. The U.N. ….. what a useless organization.

#120

How would predominantly Muslim countries view the erection of multiple church steeples? If Muslims want to erect the symbols of their faith, then they need to practice the same tolerance they demand of others on their own turf.

#119

To me, the “solution” should have been simple – ban ALL religious structures of that nature – minarets, steeples, bell towers, statues of Buddha/Krshna/FSM/etc. That way, the Muslims aren’t being singled out.

#118

The Swiss people are hurting themselves by this move.

#117

eugene brown#114, Pakistan has bombed and bulldozed an entire populus of one of its four provinces through its own army;more than half a million of pakistani muslims are in camps because their homes are destroyed, thousand of innocents are killed or injured in collateral damage in the army action.all in the fight agaist terrorism Every muslim country has denounced condemened captured and tried it’s own citizens in this fight against terrorism.all major muslim organisations in america have repeatedly and forcefully denounced any time someone commited an act of violence, echoeing the sentiments of overwhelming majority of muslims………. think about it;inspite of all this, doesn’t muslim bashing for not doing anything seem ridiculous??!!

#116

Yes! And I say ditto to MP of New York: Read any of Robert Spencer’s excellent books on the subject (including “Islam Unveiled”) of the Muslim menace to Western civilization, and you will understand why the Swiss were only acting in their own national interests, something every sovereign nation has the right, and the obligation, to do. Now the Christians of Europe need to rise up and convert their neighbors in darkness of all stripes, and while they’re at it, have more children.

#115

Mosques without minarets and the Azan would be like churches without steeples and bells.

I can understand not wanting to be awoken or kept awake by the Azan, but why not a minaret?

#114

The Muslims must earn their Minarets by joining the Worlds struggle against Muslim extermist and
other groups that would denie life to all that did
not worship as they do.

#113

I feel Switzerland’s ban on minarets sends a message of exclusion and hatred to the Muslim population. This action comes from fear and hatred of a misguided fundamentalist and extreamist sect of Islam that has done violent acts of terriorism in countries around the world. Banning architecture just because it is affiliated with a religion is just going to sink Europe and the rest of the West to the level of the Islamic countries that hate and ban construction of non-Islamic places of worship. We should be working towards a world where any people, of any race or religion can worship in any country, on any continent, in any structure they build, free of fear. To ban the building of minarets is a slippery slope. It opens the gates to more intolerance and unacceptance in countries that have historicaly had good rapore with their religious immigrant populations.

#112

Bravo! to all the cheerleaders for bigotry and double standards. Reading some of these comments I can now see how Hitler was able to get away with what he did to the Jews. I am sure similar simple but powerful and inflammatory ideas were put forward a century ago……..and a whole nation danced to the same tune. All the Jews were bad then All the Muslims are evil now!
Applaud for earle #1,Agree with you 100%!

#111

What are deserts for but to permanently reconvene a lifelong Hajj for those who should contemplate the beauty of their own holy cities rather than contemplate the lesser cities of the World of those that have no Hajj within them?

#110

Read any of Robert Spencer’s excellent books on the subject (including “Islam Unveiled”) of the Muslim menace to Western civilization, and you will understand why the Swiss were only acting in their own national interests, something every sovereign nation has the right, and the obligation, to do. Had the Muslim invasion of Europe not been turned back at the gates of Vienna centuries ago, we might all be living under Sharia law practicing polygamy, stoning adulterers, banning music, and preventing our veiled daughters from receiving an education.

#109

Mmm: I take you are Jewish. Either way, you statement shows you to be more ignorant than most people here. Although about 6M Jews lost their lives during WWII, a total of more than 24M died at the hands of the Nazis. MANY of them simply for standing up against what was going on, not only relating to Jews (who were only one of many groups targeted), but to the Nazi ways as a whole.

#108

MAL30: The President of Syria has to be a Muslim, as a result of popular demand at the time the constitution was written. However, Syria does not profess a state religion, and does not officially favour any religion over another, as is the case of the USA (officially). As such this is not an issue, although one can only wonder if Christians pushed to enlarge their number how the Syrians might behave. As to Pakistan, From 1947 to the mid-1970s, the governments of Pakistan were largely secular in policy and judgment. However, with the Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization and forced implementation of Islamic Sharia law in Pakistan marginalized the Christian minorities and caused intense persecutions.
In 1971, East Pakistan became independent as Bangladesh, and a large chunk of Pakistan’s Hindus and Christians were de-linked from Pakistan. Pakistan became a culturally monolithic, increasingly Islamic state, with smaller religious minorities than ever.
With the governments of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Zia ul-Haq, more stringently Islamic laws transformed Pakistan. While conversion to other faiths than Islam is not prohibited by law, culture and social pressures prohibit such conversions. Extremely controversial were the blasphemy laws, which made it treacherous for non-Muslims to express themselves without coming off as un-Islamic. Zia also introduced the Shariat as a basis for lawmaking, reinforced by Nawaz Sharif in 1991. Coerced conversions to Islam from Christianity are a major source of concern for Pakistani Christians, and the minority face threats, harassment and intimidation tactics from Islamic extremists. Often, converts to Christianity from Islam face the death penalty.

In Bangladesh, Christians account for approximately 0.3% of the total population. But I do not doubt for a minute that should they try to grow their numbers (outside of the small growth that comes naturally) by trying to convert Muslims, the relative peace they have found here would come to an end.

Christians constitute about 6% of the population of Jordan, down 6% from 100 years ago. The Christian numbers there are continuing to drop.

I could go on further about the countries you mentioned. The point is that when a country has a basis for religion, no matter how many agree with it or take it seriously, the native inhabitants rarely want another religion to come in and attempt a “take over,” which is what often happens with Muslims, as well as Born Again, Evangelical and Mormon Christians.

Go spend large periods living and working in places like Italy and Netherlands as I have, and for the most part you will see what I mean.

#107

Hi !

I was born in Central Europe and lived for years in Holland, Germany , Canada and currently has been living in New York City.
Just to give you an example. When kids born in my country play here in US they speak English. When Muslim kids play in US they speak Arabic.
Now everybody understands why Swiss people did it.

#106

Swiss people have a right to preserve their culture and saw that Islamic extremists do not. Witness the Taliban detonation of a world heritage Buddha in Afghanistan. The. Islamic moderates need to break ranks with other less tolerant to earn a place of cultural respect. Right now powers of the west have to provide hard lines. ‘Chirac Solution’, if a nuclear WMD gets attributed to muslims, one of their small fleet of ICBM’s melts Mecca to glass. U. S. – ‘Warning Shot’? Is only slightly more docile with a fuel air explosive proximate to the Qabbah. Why do you think those loose Chechnya back pack explosives are held in check? The west still can re-apply? Unfortunately for moderates and doves, we face staring them down with a new MAD akin to the Soviet ERA standoff, except now little bands with big recklessness are the real hard to knock sense into their way to thick stubborn heads. Please everyone pray for a softness with the entire muslim community adapts for a change of pace to modernity.

#105

The Swiss have the right to run their country as they wish!Islamics can do what ever they wish within their own borders.You are kidding yourself if you believe they are a peaceful,loving neighbor.It is time the rest of the world,including the United States,stand up and protect the foundations we were built on.Yes Mr. president,we are a Christian Nation.Thanks go out to the Swiss for standing up and not doing the “feel good” thing and listening to their people!Jod well done.

#104

kamal,florida
fear is always fueled by ignorance. i think the western should not forget so quick when the muslims set the exemple for tolerance far back in history when christian and jews religious monuments was preserved within the islamic empire as respect for their feeling, they were even built at the muslims expenses( we are talking 1000 years ago while europe was suffocating under the tyranny of the church and its own kings).further more muslims were the only refuge for jews from the crusaders when they took over andalusia (spain). what would you feel if any muslim country would bun their christian or jewsh minority from using the religious emblem on their place of worshipn that would be very very very “babaric”. bouble standard is never been fair, just inverse the roles and you would be a lot more fair for your self and for other people…….a message of peace from muslim living in the west.

#103

On one hand, it does seem intolerant and unfair to inhibit the beliefs of others. On the other, as with the Roma, people are growing tired of all the trouble that many Muslims are causing with their insistence at not even trying to fit in. This is no less than what Muslims have done to other religious groups in their country, and I myself have witnesses the intolerant behavior of Muslims toward Christians, Jews and Gays in various countries such as Netherlands, Italy, France and Switzerland. Something has got to be done. I am not sure that this is the right answer, but I cannot blame Switzerland and other countries for taking this hard-line stand.

As for comments from Jewish people relating to the Holocaust, you might like to consider that the Nazi’s almost certainly never would have obtained total power if the judges, many of whom where Jewish, as well as the highborn Jews, had not supported Hitler in the first place. The Nazi’s used the class structure to gain their foothold, and it worked.

That is not what is going on here. What is going on is that many people in Europe are sick of being forced to change THEIR ways in order to accommodate foreign nationals. They are also seeing crime rise in the areas where the Roma, Muslims and Chinese have settled. People have called it Xenophobia or racism, but I disagree. If that were the case, the same thing would be happening to Philipino and Latinos, and it is not.

#102

I’m astonished at some of these posts…either these opinions stem from ignorance or blatant disregard to the truth By far, both historically and currently the majority of predominately Muslim nations Malaysia, Syria, Egypt Pakistan Jordan Bangladesh just to name a few, have both respected and allowed public display of Christian and Jewish symbolism as well as practices and places of worship.

In regards to Saudi Arabia, it is a Muslim nation with a distinction, it has two of Islam’s holiest cities which contain Islam’s holiest sites and has therefore in general more restrictive law’s in terms of a public display of religious expression than any other Muslim country. The example of Saudi Arabia is in certain respects, somewhat akin to Vatican city ,which in my mind would be a more analogues comparison, you wouldn’t expect to see a mosque in the midst of the catholic church’s holiest center. Besides why is it that the comparison is being drawn between the Muslim world’s most conservative country and one of Europe’s most “progressive/liberal” states.

Switzerland, is supposedly reputable as being a haven for religious tolerance , this ban is seen as particularly singling out Muslim’s and the Islamic faith.

#101

Congrats Switzerland! Enough of stupid giving in in the name of democracy. Apart from issues of Muslim intolerance and 9-11 events, this decision makes total sense as it will preserve the character of Swiss landscapes and townscapes. Do you want Switzerland to look like Middle-eastern country? Certainly not.

#100

Are some of the people who commented below suggesting that if some of the nations in Europe, say, were to ban all forms of non-Christianity, as they used to do during the middle ages, that therefore other countries should ban all Christian church bell towers?

#99

If Islam was 90% love and 10% hate. there would not be an issue-WE The Swiss would not have a problem with them building places of worship-but you do not let the enemy into your country and build fortresses unless you want to be destroyed from within.

#98

I am so proud of the swiss government to have the guts and “balls” to remain steadfast on this decsion…more non-islamic nations should have the same guts to stand up to bullys whining and feeling sorry for their state…why should we christians not be able to dress the way we want to when visiting or living in an islamic country..like in Iran, a christian iranian has todress like a muslim woman, and have no freedom….its time we stood up to these ignorant people who manipulate the world and mould it the way they want it to be,,,,we must not be complacent…if these people want to live in our countries then they have to respect and carryout all that the law asks of them,,,if you’re going to someones house to stay, you have to abide by their rules and the way their life starts and ends, you sre the one who hsd to mske sdjustments to yourself to fit IN, NOT TO COME TAKE OVER THE HOUSE AND THEN TELL THE HOUSEHOLDERS HOW TO RUN THEIR LIVE,,,,,

#97

I support the Swiss in their decision arrived at via legitimate political processes. The international precedent for this type of referendum is already set – for example Saudi Arabia will not allow church buildings. Perhaps soon the step will be taken in Europe to ban mosques. For decades the Western world has been welcoming toward people of other faiths and cultures, that openness has not been reciprocated. The focus here should not be on Switzerland, but on the longstanding intolerance present in most Muslim nations. It’s a shame that Daljit and the staff at World Focus ignored this angle of the story. The way that Daljit framed this story in her lead was in disingenious at best. I do not plan on continuing watching WorldFocus because it is so one-sided in it’s focus and presentation.

#96

I agree with the voters. This clearly is backlash, but brought about in part by the lack of assimilation of the muslim population in other European countries.

#95

Wow.. talk about ignorance about the faith of over a billion people!! Let us say for the sake of an argument, as so many here have so passionately voiced, that “Muslims are INTOLERANT” then, pls help me understand how does Swiss (or should I also blanket it as “Christian”) action makes them any different?

#94

I applaud the citizens of Switzerland for shrugging off political correctness to try and preserve their own culture. I read every single day about bombings, killings or maimings somewhere in the world by Muslims in the name of their God. Even though most Muslims are not radicals, I never see the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims or their clerics standing up and saying these atrocities are wrong, much less un-Islamic. Just as the world treats(ed)the Germans regarding Nazi atrocities, they know what is going on and they do nothing about it, therefore they are just as guilty.

#93

It is appropriate to ban minarets because Muslims are even more intolerant of other religions than most Western countries are of them. They have brought this on themselves because they do not assimilate into countries very well and spurn the laws and societies into which they immigrate. In their own philosophy (religion) they desire to overturn the infidels and subjugate them into their Islamic faith. Who wants to let invaders into their country willingly without putting up some form of defense. Why is it they can practice discrimination but feel offended when they receive the same treatment? I would love to see Islamic countries allow Christian, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and atheists to live amongst them, in their countries, unmolested and free just as they were (apparently unsuspectingly) allowed to bring their religion into our countries.

#92

If a Muslim country did this to a Jewish temple or Christian Church, the whole western world would be condemning this action. Typical double standard of the evil west.

#91

The way I read it, the comments are 90% for the Swiss or even better.
And I agree with them very much. In Moslems lands Christians get killed and can not build any churches or so hidden in the areas where the old colonial powers used to live.
Even in Turkey, Tarsus, the home town of St. Paul, we can not use the old Christian Churches which have been made into Museums for Tourists. The Muslims do not have any understanding of tolerance but expect all from us. Shortly after they tell us which way to live, of course theirs.
Gosh, Worldfocus is so biased, I get more out of the news from Asia, Africa, the Mideast channel, certainly the BBC and France 24/7, less DW, particular their European News, but Worldfocus does not do for me. And the sad thing above all is, we can not stop fighting on their soil because otherwise there will be more training grounds for terrorists everywhere. See what Hamas is doing right now again to their own people in the Gaza strip: no women allowed to dance, etc.
Please, do not tell us, the Swiss Parlament was surprised about the election: They do better listen what the voters say and forget to make money in the oil rich countries which again the Western countries discovered and developed for them.

#90

Let the muslim show use what they have don’t in there coutry before they tell use what to do , let saoudi arabia show use how they welcome christian , jews and other religion and how many churchs they have build , muslim show the world what you have achive in your land before you go to other land and europe and tell them what to do and show no respect , swiss have a great country and million did in europe to build this judeo /christian culture , god bless Jesus and Moise for what they have give to the world . muslim show use what Mahomet give you

#89

If the Muslim countries are not tolerant of Christian or Jewish religions being practiced, why should Europe afford them the same privilege. Having lived in a Muslim country and witnessed the irritating Alla Akbar every morning at 6 AM, I hope the Swiss are smart enough to ban the prayer calls next.

#88

I applaud the Swiss for their very smart decision in banning minarets. I assume they foresaw their future by observing the absurd tolerance of other charitable nations who let violent muslims have a free hand. I hope they will wisely ban all future Islamic structures; and keep a close eye on existing ones.

#87

First of all, thank you very much for ferlessly runnung a very independnet news channel. Very much needed in the days of corp run media machines.

I am a person of Indian origin living in the USA for many years and follow Jainism. I have seen both sides and will not fear in telling you that uncontrolled growth of the Isalm in any country will only undermine the law and order of that country. I think the Swiss are foresighted and courageous in passing this vote. Islamic people must realize that FREEDOM COMES WITH RESPONSIBILITIES.

#86

Lets talk about Saudi Arabia and their banning of all non Islamic churches and temples. When Saudi Arabia allows churches to be built maybe the minarets should be allowed. Once again Islam shows it’s hypocrisy. R.I.P. Theo Van Gough. Murdered in his tolerent Holland.

#85

Political correctness may not devour Switzerland. I wish America would have the sense to adopt the same mentality.

#84

If a country can outlaw minarets, what’s to prevent them from outlawing, say, Jewish synagogues as the next step?

#83

It is a justified action. Any religion whose adherents order the deaths of those who chose to abandon it should itself be banned.

#82

if you can’t build a church in the midle east, then why should we let them take over europe and the west. They won’t rest until they take over the world and the liberals are handing them a hand and giving them the west on a silver tray.

#81

islam disapproves of everything that is not islam. The swiss are brave to even bring up the topic. More countries must eliminate the constant threat of islam.

#80

I am inclined to agree with Marilyn (comment 63). Moreover, even the most tolerant Muslim would oppose the marriage of his child to someone who was not Muslim. What this suggests is that there would be no point in the future that Muslims would become fully integrated into the sociopcultural life of any country they immigrate to. That seem’s like a recipe for division and strife at a time when their numbers exceed those of the host culture. In Europe, it could mean the end of Western Civilization as we know it, and that is not a happy prospect.

As it is, many countries are threatened by growing numbers of Muslims whose birthrates are much higher than those of their hosts; this a recipe for Western civilisational suicide over the long term. Ironically, Europeans must rethink the limits their tolerance in the interests of its survival.

#79

I don’t like that the Swiss are limiting the rights of Muslims living in Switzerland. Those who are worried about intolerant and violent Muslims should stop buying oil from Saudi Arabia, whose Wahabi sect founded 30,000 fundamentalist schools internationally. As one of our U.S. comedians said, if you’re driving alone (in an SUV) you’re driving with Bin Laden.

#78

The Swiss vote to ban Islamic minarets but not the construction of mosques and are accused by some of religious intolerance while a number of Islamic states ban not only churches and synagogues but ban the practice of Christianity and Judaism, ban all other religious symbols, the Christian Cross, The Jewish Star of David, the Bible and other non-Muslim literature. The religious intolerance of Islam is accepted without a protest by these same individuals who could not attend a Christian or Jewish service in some Islamic states.

#77

Desia R Duncan (opinion posted below) is an example of one of those who has their head buried deeply in the sands of self-imposed ignorance. Who bombed who first? Apparently you were not in NYC on 09-11-2001, Desia. The West did not start this war, radical Islam did.

#76

I applaud the decision in Switzerland. I think this is pure reciprocity. If Arab countries outlaw the display of any non-Muslim symbols (let alone the construction of churches, synagogues, or any kind of temple different than mosques), why is it wrong for other countries to outlaw the construction of minarets?

#75

I applaud the Swiss for drawing a line in the sand and saying “NO MORE MINARETS!” The next step is to ask their Muslims to return to the middle-east. They must act quickly though, BEFORE the Swiss Muslims gain control of the government by expanding their numbers exponentially via their enormous birth rates. This is what happened in Lebanon and it is happening all over Europe. Is ANYONE paying any attention?

#74

If Muslims are offended then why are they migrating by the masses to America & European nations which are rooted in Christianity? They hold signs that say,”Behead those who insult Islam” and expect a warm welcome? There have been bombings, threats, anti-European gangs and they expect us to swallow Islam? We won’t. If they want to practice Islam without tension, they have their own nations to practice within. Leave ours alone! They destroy their own nations and seem to think we will let them destroy ours. We have had enough of their savagery and certainly enough social engineering of so called ‘tolerance’ for those who want to murder us.

#73

I am amazed by the ignorance and lact of tolerance. The lack of knowledge of islam and the culture is overwhelming. People are generalizing about islam and muslims. Reminds me of America and Jim Crow. You experience one hostile black and all blacks are hostile. It is a shame. The minarets cannot hurt you. You are afraid of a symbol. And maybe, just maybe if we stop bombing their countries and killing their people they would not be angry enough to avenge the loss of their loved ones. Ask the question, why did they leave their countries in the first place.

#72

Swiss have the right to vote as they wish and the current voting has made their bigotry a little too obvious. Similarly, all Arabs and Muslims should boycott swiss products, swiss banks and move their money out of Switzerland. They should not even consider Switzerland as their potential vacation spot.

#71

With their vote, the Swiss have now joined the Ranks of the Taliban, with their intolerance.

Peace, Love & Respect.

#70

#60 Martin: Sums up my own feelings exactly about Islam!

#69

The Swiss have shown us how easily politicians can exploit fear and ignorance. History is full of examples of brutality and intolerance practiced in the name of all religions.

#68

I agree with Marilyn #68. I’m all out of leeway towards Islam. I have not seen an open hand extended from any Muslim community. If they don’t like Swiss law, they can move back to their caves and play with bombs. Eventually we’ll start playing with bombs too. And on that score we will win. We need to get radical with Afghanistan.

#67

Sorry it should have read “Let’s put an end once and for all to all the talk about European tolerance and civilization.” (The machine ate half of the words.)

#66

My feeling of concern and respect has not been reciprocated by the Muslims at large. There is no other religion in these modern times that condones killing anyone who chooses to leave their religion for another. There is no other religion in these modern times that is going around indiscriminately murdering, bombing, and attacking Westerners who they consider infidels. I believe that there are many moderate Muslims who would choose to live in peace, but I do not believe that they are in the majority of Islam. Instead, I believe that they are a small group frightened into silence. They know that to speak out would mean a certain fatwah on their heads and that of their families. Their treatment of women is beyond cruel. If Islam wishes to enjoy freedom of religion wherever they reside, then they need to have the courage to speak out against the murderers and fanatics among them.
Why isn’t the world protesting that there are not churches, synagogues, and Hindu and Buddhist temples in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran? I will tell you why- because the world is afraid of these people and with a history of good reason..not to mention their oil. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists may disagree with each other. Maybe some of them don’t even like one another, but in 2009 they would not murder each other because of their ideology, because of a cartoon, because of a movie, because of a book, because a woman wore pants, a daughter became too ‘westernized’.
Good for you voters of Switzerland. You all had the guts to do what the rest of the world is too weak to do.

#65

This is the kind of thing a closed, authoritarian society does out of fear. I hope it’s not a sign of further problems for Europe, for all of us in the future.

#64

it’s unfortunate that LG sees expressions of frustration with Islam’s ugly side as only hate-filled. Wake up.

#63

Switzerland is a sovereign country and, as such, are free to do what they want. The issue is somewhat of a marketing nightmare for them.

How do they continue to say they are neutral while passing laws against one religion?

#62

The swiss vote was entirely wrong. It is one more indication of the slow but steady reemergence of right wing xenophobia across Europe. Remember that during WWII a large number of defeated nations contributed one or more SS volunteer divisions to assist the NAZI war effort. And in that same war most Europeans did nothing to assist their persecuted jewish populations, assisting even in their roundup and deportation. The Swiss,notably, assisted the NAZI regime by providing banking services for the vast sums of looted gold and art, a deed for which in recent years they had to pay billions in reparations. These acts were committed because jews also were considered eternal aliens in the majority of european nations in which they had resided for many years. This same racist thinkng pervades the ideology of the european right today. Perhaps,an appropriate response by oil producing nations in the Islamic world would be to cut off oil supplies to Europe until such time that the Swiss and the Europeans allow true expression of religious freedom. I am sure that would put a crease in vaunted Swiss banking system.

#61

The Swiss vote is a good example of the tyranny of the majority. Intolerance and xenophobia seem to be the rule of the day. Very few or no Christians seem to be responding to your questions. There are a lot to hate-filled people writing in. So much for Western civilisation!

#60

A minaret is an architectural device. The Koran doesn’t require it. What the Swiss want is that the muslim world respect their traditions and not impose their particular restrictive ways such as the Sharia or the subjugation of women. They are in their right and it is their country. If indeed the moderate muslims want integration, let them campaign and ease the fear created by their extremist
brothers.

#59

To the people who want to promote religious freedom by tolerance and dialogue:

Take note that Islam is not just a religion, but a political and judiciary system as well. To believers, this trumps the law of the land they live in. As a result it cannot be considered in the usual “freedom of religion” arguments.

Furthermore, dialogue has historically failed with these people, (along with any other extremists) and invariably resulted in the destruction of those trying to reason.

As a citizen of a country that is being highly Islamified (Denmark), I agree with the Swiss people’s vote on this issue and their democratic right to carry it out. People who disagree with the basics of democracy can choose to leave Switzerland alone;they would do the same for you.

It is in fact laughable that people who wish to kill anyone who criticizes Islam and who would never let anyone worship any other religion in their own country, complain when their extremist views are being held in check by a united democratic population of a country they are guests in.

#58

yes i agree with the voters.I am sure muslim counties would object to a christian church even being,let alone a tower with a cross on top being put up.

#57

See another recent controversial “Islamic center meets outcry” unfolding in south east Michigan.
http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20091130/NEWS01/911300307/Islamic-center-meets-outcry?template=printart

#56

To Rebecca, post no. 6

Learn about what happened to the Jews of Medina and Khaybar when Muhammad came to power.

#55

Of course Switzerland has the right to ban minarets. Islam is a religion of the sword,and whatit was unable to do at Lepanto in 1571 and at Vienna in 1683 (that is, forcibly convert
Europe to Islam) it is now attempting to do by
the “soft” invasion of immigration. For Daljit
Dhaliwal to uprbraid Switzerland for a lack of
tolerance is preposterous–Islam is the intolerant one. Try practicing Christianity in a Moslem country or building a church there! Does anyone at World Focus know any history at all? Lincoln said no nation could survive half-slave and half-free. No western nation can survive half-agnostic and half-Islamic.

#54

Tell me why?!
Tell me why?!
Tell me why?!

#53

i feel that the majority of swiss see things for what they are : an invasion of their country with the ultimate intention of a take over. in holland the muslim community are not at all shy in repeated statements that their goal is to “run the country”. if anyone believes that if/when they obtain control ,they will extend “tolerance” toward other religions and the native (minority ) population?? it is near certain that sharia law will be imposed and forcible the minorities will be repressed.

#52

Isn’t the Swiss vote about whether a house can be painted red or pink? What’s so different to ban minarts?

As a non-religious person, I wouldn’d mind the banning of churches with outsized towers too!

Pray in peace as much as you like. But please do so without shoving your religion right in my face, in the form of minerets! If god is really as great as claimed, he can hear the prayers even without the minarets.

#51

I agree with what John Byrne said #44. Out of respect, I quote here “Neither the Swiss, nor anyone else should be surprise by the results of the poll on minarets. It is a statement of concern about the public perception of Islam. The average person anywhere knows about Islam only what he or she sees or hears through the media, and usually the subject matter of media reports is violent actions by persons who proclaim that Islam and its precepts is what drives their actions. It is only normal human nature to react in a defensive manner to such news. Moderate Muslims everywhere must understand that it is their responsibility to change the perceived image of Islam.”

#50

The swiss people have spoken. Immigrants have a duty to adapt to the life and culture of the place they choose to migrate to. If they prefer a different life and culture, they should live where that life and culture is available.

#49

I’ll retract my views when Saudi Arabia allows a Church with bell tower to be built in Mecca, and a synagogue in Medina :)

#48

Absolutely.

#47

Earle they are not denying anyone a house of prayer. They are banning the minarets. They still have their mosques. And tell me how many crosses would I see if I went to Saudi Arabia or some other Muslims countries? They are trying to wipe out the few Christians that are left in Iraq. Why are we westerners always the bad guys? It’s like the Mexican government preaching to the U.S. about their immigration policies and what we should and shouldn’t do. Have you ever looked into their policies? Enough!

#46

JEwish liberals are the true enemy of Israel and true western democracy. They were wrong to support communism in the past, and wrong to support the rights of ISlamofascists today whose aim is to wipe Israel off the map, and then to eventually Islamize the rest of the world. The Swiss people had enough, and thankfully Swiss democracy allowed for a referendum so that the Swiss people could democratically vote what they really feel without having to feel quashed and intimidated by the kneejerk liberals who are determined to turn Democracy into a suicide pact.

#45

As a Christian, I would feel oppressed if my government did not allow my place of worship to display a cross. I believe that freedom of religion is an essential right of a democratic society, and there is no question that the new Swiss law banning minaret construction restricts this freedom (as does the French law banning headscarves in public schools).

#44

dont forget that they also wanted calling towers. They have speekers to call people to prayer correct ! Why do Christians have to be subjected to that.

#43

Neither the Swiss, nor anyone else should be surprise by the results of the poll on minarets. It is a statement of concern about the public perception of Islam. The average person anywhere knows about Islam only what he or she sees or hears through the media, and usually the subject matter of media reports is violent actions by persons who proclaim that Islam and its precepts is what drives their actions. It is only normal human nature to react in a defensive manner to such news. Moderate Muslims everywhere must understand that it is their responsibility to change the perceived image of Islam.

#42

Muslims need to know who their friends and enemies are. It would be wise to reduce their dependence on ignorant peoples who have no respect for them. They don’t need violence and propaganda to do that, but rather civility and patience.

As far as non-Muslim immigrants in Europe are concerned, the answer is simple. If you have no other options but to clean European streets and toilets, then go back home and clean your streets and toilets. It pays less, but it is much more honorable. Let’s put an end once and for all to European tolerance and civilization.

Advocating the severing of relations between countries is never a good solution, but everything is by force except love. Indeed, “if thine eye offends thee then pluck it out.”

#41

i think Switzerland is one of the last really democratic countries in the world
and if the swiss people voted against it, then the world should respect it,
because i don’t know any muslim countries who allows christian churches
to be built or where christians worship can be peacefully practiced.

#40

You are asking–and answering too simplistic, and useless a question. Whether Switzerland is or is not entitled to ban minarets is a question which masks the important underlying issue: The “good” Muslims who comprise the majority of Islam believers have not made anything like the needed protest against the dangerous radicals in their religion. This silence is what frightens people like the Swiss. Hence, the symbolic Swiss vote–the only action they could take to express their frustration–frustration resulting from the Silence of the Muslim Majority. Instead of arguing about its legality–or even morality–Muslims should take note of the growing frustration in Western nations. Symbolic votes such as the French and Swiss votes are likely to be replicated elsewhere. History is full of examples of how tyrants, who were explicitly supported only by small numbers of “extremists”, were nonetheless able to exert their will on a whole nation. The explanation is to be found in the Silent Majority who did not vehemently denounce these “extremists”. I fear that we are witnessing exactly this phenomenon once again. It’s time to confront Muslims to take a stand. The extremists already have. Let’s hear from the others. Where do they really stand??

#39

You are asking–and answering too simplistic, and useless a question. Whether Switzerland is or is not entitled to ban minarets is a question which masks the important underlying issue: The “good” Muslims who comprise the majority of Islam believers have not made anything like the needed protest against the dangerous radicals in their religion. This silence is what frightens people like the Swiss. Hence, the symbolic Swiss vote–the only action they could take to express their frustration–frustration resulting from the Silence of the Muslim Majority. Instead of arguing about its legality–or even morality–Muslims should take note of the growing frustration in Western nations. Symbolic votes such as the French and Swiss votes are likely to be replicated elsewhere. History is full of examples of how tyrants, who were explicitly supported only by small numbers of “extremists”, were nonetheless able to exert their will on a whole nation. The explanation is to be found in the Silent Majority who did not vehemently denouce these “extremists”. I fear that we are witnessing exactly this phenomenon once again. It’s time to confront Muslims to take a stand. The extremists already have. Let’s hear from the others. Where do they really stand??

#38

Swiss people have the right to keep their country the way they want it ,the vote stopped the building of new minarets ,not the prohibition of religious practice ..enough is enough ,muslems know how to abuse the freedom and democracy of the western counties . .No church is allowed to be built in saudia arabia ,although there is a huge mosque in rome where the vatican is ..when islamic countries do not respect other religions ,they should be treated in the same way ..now if more minarets are allowed ,then there will be 5 times calling for prayers publicly which is really a nuisance to the rest of the people who don’t want to be up for prayer at 4 a.m. living in the middle east one has to hear the call for prayer all over the city even when the person is in his house , because the sound comes out on loud speakers with disregard to non muslims well being and confort ..i applaud the swiss .

#37

The lack of any meaningful pushback by moderate elements of islam against extremism has directly resulted in their religion and its symbols becoming highly politicized. Given the overwhelming political flavor of this religion’s public personna, admittedly displayed by a violent minority and allowed by the silent majority, i applaud the swiss for taking a stand against a largely political symbol. For islam to be accepted as harmless pure religion, then the majority of muslims should push back against the political aspects espoused by their extreme bretheren. Until then, they have no one to blame for this secular public backlash but themselves.

#36

I see nothing wrong with the banning of minarets in Switzerland. They’re not interfering with the practice of Islam in the country, nor are they denying moslem immigrants to enter the country. They just don’t want a symbol of Islam to populate the landscape of an otherwise liberal democracy in central Europe. Muslims are still the minority there and it seems the Swiss people want to keep it that way.

#35

The Catholic Church of Switzerland said it best when they described the ban as “an obstacle to interreligious harmony” that “increases the problems of coexistence between religions and cultures”. Unfortunately, only 16% of the Swiss even bother to attend church, compared to 44% for the United States. It appears as though many of the the traditions that the Swiss are trying to defend are already dead.

#34

It is not a question of whether I or anyone else approves or disapproves of the democratic vote of the Swiss people. 57% of the Swiss voters said `No Minarets!’. End of story. The losers of the vote can celebrate democracy or move to a country that lets them do as they choose.
The fact that the Swiss, of all people, would ban a “religious” symbol says more about how Islam and it’s symbols are viewed by an extremely tolerant nation than the Nation and it’s citizens. Islam (and it’s followers) needs to check itself and make internal changes before they try to change the society they have adopted.

#33

Yes, absolutely, I agree with the decision of the Swiss People. It is their country. Muslims believe is killing for their god. And, I truly believe that is the basis of their religion to conquor Christianity. It is their goal. Their false believe is that their GOD is the only GOD and they shout those ever words whenever Christians are being killed.

#32

We call ourselves a democratic people and yet we want to take that right from others. Take care, alienation is the key to depress a people. Is this how we will teach a people that we are better than them? What about the crusaders (christians)? what about the Isrealis Killing a few hundred in poverty in exchange for one or two injuries? what of those of us invading other countries and bombing them senseless. who are we to tell these people they can’t have minarets?

#31

The craven liberal delusional concept that says it is only a minority that is extremist in the Muslim community should remember that after 9-11 and Madrid, London and Mumbai bombings we have not heard from the Muslim moderates or political expatriates crying out against this hatred and violence. Why are the very people who are opposed to this oppressive political religion now crying for tolerance of an intolerant culture and religion that is relentlessly encroaching without any attempts at assimilation throughout the west.

Someone needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

#30

Switzerland has shown the world what the purest (and oldest) expression of DEMOCRACY is: the expression of the will of a nation.

Direct democracy in Switzerland is one of the major obstacles for Switzerland to join the European Union.

There is nothing more to be said ….. the Swiss people have expressed themselves.

By the way, Switzerland’s Constitution (Article 72, paragraph 3) was automatically updated yesterday with this vote !

#29

I do agree and the same should apply to any religion.

#28

When I first heard about this I thought that Switzerland was being inundated with minarets. Then I heard tonight that there were only 4 in all of Switzerland. I realize it is a small country, but come on now! I fear that perhaps it smacks a bit of Fascism.

#27

The Swiss have a perfect right to ban symbols which are likely to have a detrimental effect on their culture and on their security. The West must learn discernment so that Muslins may live among us IF THEY ARE WILLING TO ASSIMILATE, but Islamists are anathma and Islamists should be banned and deported upon detection. Radical Islam is incompatible with the tenets of liberal society based on values of the renaissance and The Enlightenment. Read Aesop’s fable about the porcupine wintering with the snakes.

#26

I find the reporting very bias. Why when will they report how Islamic countries ban the development of Churches in Islamic Lands. If Muslims want equality look to their own home country, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria Iran etc. where any other form of religion is banned out right. Im sorry to say this banned is long over due. They cry foul but stay silent when other people are left without rights.

#25

I have read that muslims like to destroy anything that stands for freedom and justice.

#24

The Swiss are justified in banning the construction of minarets. Europe should continue to look like Europe and not like a Middle-East country. If religion is more important than culture, I feel it would be better for these muslims to remain in their countries and dedicate their lives to their faith.

#23

Can someone (anyone) please explain to me how banning a structural design combats radicalism.

#22

The Swiss people made use of their inalienable right to vote and to live in their country in the way they consider the best way. I applause their decision which I firmly believe it is the perfect one. People who emigrate to a country -Muslims or any other nationality or religion- must respect, adapt and amalgamate with the people of the country that receive them and not to impose their modus vivendi. Almost 500,000 Muslims are too many for a small country like Switzerland therefore they do not need so many “minarets”.

#21

I have to reply to the Christian who supports the Jewish people even though, in his words, I don’t personally deserve it. First, I resent your all-but-saying that I am somehow undeserving of your “support.” I’m not looking for your personal support, and I don’t think you have a right to judge me. To point out what Christians have done in the past doesn’t make me a bad person. If you are unwilling to face up to the history, that is not a fault of mine. The Christian-led US government allowed very few Jews to enter during WWII. Look into the policies of the US State Department. They purposely dragged their heels on Jewish applications for visas and put obstacle after obstacle in the path of Jews (and probably others) trying to flee Nazi Germany. The war wasn’t fought by Christian Americans to help Jews, that was just a lucky side effect for us. And yes, radical Islamists hate us. Does that make every Muslim a radical? Did every Christian turn his back on the Jews? No, to both. Of course not.

#20

Watching World Focus and other news program, I observe Islam to be neither a peaceful nor a tolerant religion. However, some of the other major religions of the world are not much better. I see no problem with the Swiss expressing their views through a democratic vote. I do not see such a process in Saudia Arabia.

#19

Let’s face it: one of the main facets of Islam is that anyone that does not convert to that religion should be killed but you never hear that in the news. All you hear is that anyone that has their own beliefs and does not support Islam is ‘intolerant’. And therein is the intolerance of the supposedly tolerant. Will I “TOLERATE” myself, my family and my children being killed because we will never convert to Islam? No. Ban the minarets. If they don’t like it, go somewhere else.

#18

Yes. the Swiss people are justified and right to take this action. I wish we could do the same in the USA.

#17

Minarets have become a symbol of radical islam just as the (innocent symbol) swastika became the symbol of nazism. Are we reliving the past?

#16

When Saudi Arabia, Iran and the other Middle East countries allow the free worship of religions other than Islam….and the building of houses of worship of other religions…then I MAY reciprocate by allowing Mosques in the West.
We in the West have an OBLIGATION to protect and
cherish our historical culture and traditions!!!
We do not owe Muslims anything! They have many countries and lands where to express their culture. I do not see China or India being so generous with Islam.
Is it some self defeating guilt that makes us loath to stand up for ourselves?

#15

As a former Muslim, married to a Muslim and one who has raised her son as a Muslim, I unfortunately think this is a necessary step to stem the tide of radical Islam. Letting Muslims get a strong foothold in a democratic country by building mosques is a recipe for disaster. I think the concilatory, accommodating nature of most democratic nations is going to be their undoing. Islam is, by nature, COMPLETELY at odds with the notion of democracy which is why so many Muslim countries are constantly in upheaval. Reading the Koran is a hair-raising experience that leaves no doubt that Islam is about as far from a religion of peace as you can get. I applaud Switzerland’s guts.

#14

If a majority of the Swiss voted to ban the building of minarets let democracy prevail. Maybe democracy will eventually catch on in Muslim controlled countris. Instead, the continuing and controversial lack of so many immigrating Muslim’s acceptance of the norms of their host countries’of traditions and culture, while, on the other hand, insisting rigidly on the acceptance of their own culture and traditions in Muslim oriented countries, makes complaining about the Swiss vote seem very insincere.

#13

As a former Muslim, married to a Muslim and one who has raised her son as a Muslim, I unfortunately think this is a necessary step to stem the tide of radical Islam. Letting Muslims get a strong foothold in a democratic country by building mosques is a recipe for disaster. I think the concilatory, accommodating nature of most democratic nations is going to be their undoing. Islam is, by nature, COMPLETELY at odds with the notion of democracy which is why so many Muslim countries are constantly in upheaval. Reading the Koran is a hair-raising experience that leaves no doubt that Islam is about as far from a religion of peace as you can get.

#12

All religion throughout history seems to cause nothing but trouble. Everyone has their imaginary friend and made up rituals and they are all willing to kill to preserve their illusions. Currently, Islam seems to be more fanatical and more ritualistic than other beliefs. It is clear why the Swiss are fearful. To deny that is to deny the “elephant in the room.” Nice try for the Swiss.

#11

I’ve been in Switzerland enough to know that they will vote on the color of a smoke stack along the Rhein. It is their country and I was struck some years ago by its archaic Christian laws. But it is thier country and they have the right to determine how they want their long Christian skyline to appear. I.e. its none of MY business as an American.
I do NOT feel we should do anything similar in this country, unlike my fellow American who makes such a suggestion. This is NOT a CHRISTIAN country. It may have been founded by Christians, but it was built by many who never heard of Christ until they had no choice under slavery and the Jews that came here did so to escape exactly what that writer suggests. That IS my business.

#10

This is a move towards intolerance, like Germany in 1933 Islam has some of the most beautiful Art try relating on that basis instead of your constant confrontation. Terror does not happen for no reason try looking within.

#9

I agree with the Swiss majority. Christian churches cannot be built in Suadi Arabia nor can Christians worship publicly there. There must be some reciprocity or Western culture will be suppressed by Islam.

#8

Its a good idea.

#7

rebecca, as a Christian i support the jewish people even if you personally don’t deserve it. Christian Americans did much to protect jews from what happened to the misguided in europe,the nazi&muslims wanted you gone and without a nation but we Christian Americans stood for you and still do. the islamists hate us as much as they hate you

#6

As a Jew and a proud liberal, I think the Swiss are absolutely wrong in this. First of all, their reputation for neutrality is not based in fact. They kept fleeing Jews and others from entering Switzerland during WWII and bought gold taken from the teeth of victims of the death camps. So they are hardly a beacon of light. More to the point, are they also banning tall steeples with crosses on top from their churches? I think not. The idea that the Swiss political party behind this puts forward, that the minarets are antagonistic political statements could equally be applied to the steeples and crosses. The only reason they are not banned is because they are the symbol of the majority. It was the Christians who, in the name of G-d, slaughtered Jews and Muslims just because they weren’t Christians during the crusades. If ever there was a symbol of political use of religion, that was it. How does a minaret threaten the Christian majority with their hundreds, or more, churches. How is the call to prayer from a minaret different from the incessant ringing of church bells calling people to prayer? This is pure xenophobia.

#5

No, they are not justified.

#4

So, according to Jgarbuz, it was wrong to victimize the Jews, but OK to victimize Muslims.
There must be another planet you could move to. Trust me, God does not bless this intolerence

#3

I am Bosnian, european born muslim. It is apsolutely wrong what just happened. Imagine if there are churches without bell towers. Islam is a peaceful religion. It seems that we are going backwards and releaving what Jews lived through during Nazi Germany or Europe.

#2

GOD BLESS SWITZERLAND! Today it took the first step in stopping the spead of this imperialist cult into the heart of Europe. It sort of makes up for the attempt to rob gold from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The Swiss are to be CHEERED by everyone and anyone hoping to save western civilization from a very dark future indeed!

#1

This is a tough one,your dammed if you do,and dammed if you don’t. My answer leading up to Switzerland’s decision has to do with the countries long standing on neutrality,and sometimes blurred/muddy amnesty during WWl & WWll. Their sending the wrong signal to a billion plus Islam/Muslim religious. Actually,the more I think about it,the more it freaks me out. Black,Brown,Yellow,or White,(whatever shade of the rainbow your skin is),and you stroll/migrate/visit a neighborhood/country/border-crossing that isn’t alligned (favorite flavor)with the color-de’jour,and your basically deemed/condemmed a terrorist,…amazing? So my answer would have to be, “No,…Switzerland is wrong for banning Minarets”! To deny someone a house of prayer is a gross, profound miscarriage to mankind,the very cornerstone of civilization. Remember,it was only “The Dirty Dozen +” that were responsible for 9-11 (not a billion plus innocent)? Humongus mistake,period.

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