Swiss Vote to Ban Minarets

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by sob, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    European countries continue to struggle to terms with their relations with the Islamic World and also the rising number of Muslim immigrants in their countyr.

    In a referendum in Switzerland the voters in a fairly convincing margin voted for a ban on minarets. This means that the construction of Mosques is banned in Switzerland.

    Swiss voters back ban on minarets

     
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  3. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    The swiss incident is not isolated as well. After the exposure of bombing in london, day to day terrorism in middle east like Iraq, afghanistan and the islamic fundamentalists rule in afghanistan by taliban & the havoc they created on their own society, have led to nervousness among western europeons. Though europe has stood for freedom of individual, now they have become scared of a community they can't just under stand outright.

    Rise of islamic extremism has done more harm to the muslim community than anything legitimate for their cause. Its time islamic youths realized this. The entire world would continue to isolate muslims and view them with suspicion as if they were cousins of osama. Youths like kasab should think twice before taking up arms for a cause they don't understand, fight an adversary not of their choice and die for a leader they may never know. God bless them.
     
  4. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Swiss brace for minaret backlash

     
  5. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Very strange referendum. The Swiss are known to be a Xenophobic people in any case. They even refuse to integrate with EU.
     
  6. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    This is a wave which is sweeping Europe. With their low birth rates the Europeans are afraid that the Muslim immigrants from Turkey, Algeria and other countries could soon have a sizeable presence.

    Recently we have seen even in France there were disturbances over the Egypt-Algerian football match. The French are also quite worked up over this issue.

    IMO this fear of being swamped by Muslim migrants is the main reason why Turkey has been denied membership of EU.
     
  7. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^No, the reason is because Turkey has not met the criteria for membership (democracy,freedom of speech, freedom of religion, economic criteria etc.)
    Don't conflate the two issues.
     
  8. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Reply to flint

    Most of the points you have mentioned are correct but the underlying opposition to the Turkish membership was a fear that as part of EU Turks would swamp western Europe.

    The other points were just a convinient tool.

    Here is an old article in the BBC on European resistance to Turkish membership of EU.

    Analysis: EU views on Turkish bid

     
  9. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Opposition to the Swiss refrendum

    Just switched off the TV in disgust watching all the English language media and our politicians taking the high moral ground on their opposition to the Swiss ban on minarets. Somebody should explain to them only minarets are being banned and not places of worship.

    Countries like Saudi Arabia refuse entry of even a photo or any other religious symbols of other religions into their country, leave aside permitting them to construct a place of worship. But i do not see our great TV channels, NDTV, Times NOW, CNN IBN etc along with our politicians raising this issue with the Saudis. so many thousands of Indian hindus , Sikhs Chritains work in SA, but they can't worship in their church temple or Guurdwara.

    Enough of such Pseudo secularists, throw them out of the country.
     
  10. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    Italy could be the next European country to consider a referendum on the building of Islamic minarets following the Swiss vote to ban the structures.

    Cabinet minister Roberto Calderoli, of the xenophobic Northern League, said Italy should confirm its Roman Catholic roots and hold a vote as soon as possible.

    Like the Swiss, Italian voters can have a direct say on an issue if a minimum number of signatures are gathered calling for a referendum.

    The League is expected to now start the process for a referendum, despite the Vatican expressing unease over the Swiss vote.

    Official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano compared it to a decision by the European Court of Human Rights last month to ban crucifixes from Italian classrooms - a decision that provoked widespread outrage in Italy.

    Calderoli said the Swiss decision was a triumphant 'yes to bell towers and no to minarets' that served as an important example for other European countries losing touch with their Christian identities.

    He added: 'Respect for other religions is important, but we've got to put the brakes on Muslim propaganda or else we'll end up with an Islamic political party like they have in Spain.'

    Others within the anti-immigration Northern League have called for a cross to be inserted on the Italian national flag to symbolise the deep Christian roots of the country.

    Italy has one of the tallest minarets in Europe standing just a metre shorter than St Peter's Basilica, at the Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre in Rome.

    The country has around 1.2 million Muslims, making Islam the second religion after Catholicism.

    The Northern League have frequently made headlines for their views on Islam and immigration, most notably during the Danish cartoon row in 2006, when Mr Calederoli wore a T-shirt emblazoned with one of the anti-Islamic images.

    They have also allowed pigs to graze over sites where mosques were earmarked in order to make them unholy, while recently, the Northern League was accused of racism after it emerged that a local scheme to rid a town of illegal immigrants had been nicknamed 'White Christmas'.

    Today the United Nations called Switzerland's ban on new minarets 'clearly discriminatory' and deeply divisive.

    The Swiss foreign minister acknowledged today the government was very concerned about how the vote would affect the country's image.

    UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said Sunday's referendum to outlaw the construction of minarets in Switzerland was the product of 'anti-foreigner scare-mongering'.

    The criticism from Pillay, whose office is based in the Swiss city of Geneva, comes after an outcry from Muslim countries, Switzerland's European neighbours and human rights watchdogs since 57.5 per cent of the Swiss population ratified the ban.

    The Swiss government opposed the initiative but has sought to defend it as an action not against Islam or Muslims, but one aimed at improving integration and fighting extremism.

    'These are extraordinary claims when the symbol of one religion is targeted,' Pillay said in a statement.

    She said she was saddened to see xenophobic arguments gain such traction with Swiss voters despite their 'long-standing support of fundamental human rights.'

    The referendum doesn't affect Switzerland's four existing minarets, or the ability of Muslims to practice their religion. It only bans the towers used to put out the Islamic call to prayer.

    But wealthy Arab tourists might think twice now about spending their money in Geneva and other Swiss cities, and the neutral country's efforts to mediate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could also suffer.

    In Athens today, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said the government was worried about the ban.

    'We are very concerned with this referendum. The reality of our societies in Europe and throughout the world is that each limitation on the coexistence of different cultures and religions also endangers our security,' Calmy-Rey said during a meeting of foreign ministers of the 56-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

    'Provocation risks triggering other provocation and risks inflaming extremism,' she added.

    Sunday's referendum, which was backed by nationalist parties, forced the government to declare illegal the building of any new minarets.
     
  11. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Convenient tool? The FACT is that Turkey does not meet the basic membership requirements. How is that a convenient tool? If Turkey met the requirements, and was then denied membership, perhaps you would have a point.
    ________________________

    I agree that the Indian media is a tad overzealous to prove their secular credentials. Having said that, this referendum is totally nonsensical. It make no sense whatsoever to ban minarets across the country.
     
  12. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    India should go on a hyper offensive against this ban.

    Will be an excellent way to promote softpower within the Muslim world(Refer to Ejazr's thread) and be a brilliant PR coup of Indian pluralism.
     
  13. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    You are comparing a democratic, industrialized supposedly "progressive" country to a autocratic monarchy where the state religion is Islam. Isn't the comparison in itself quite ridiculous? When was the last time the Saudis promoted themselves as the bastion of freedom and pluralism?

    We know how the Saudis are and they don't hide it. Unlike the Swiss who present a certain image of themselves to the world, and practice the polar opposite of it.
     
  14. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    What's with Europe anyway? Yesterday, it was Jews, now it is Muslims. They will never learn to accept multiculturalism, will they? On one hand, they need legions of foreign immigrants to keep pouring into their countries to save themselves from dying out, and on the other, they act hostile to the very people that make up that gap.
     
  15. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

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    Pluralism does not mean having your country and culture and values overrun by other cultures that have highly obscurant ideas about faith and its role in the country that are contrary to your values.

    If you want to see the underbelly of Muslim immigration in Europe with all its warts, then just go to a Pakistani neighbourhood in London or some of the other Muslim neighbourhoods in England or to some of the Muslim parts of France.

    Even liberal Muslims recoil when they see the behaviour of some Muslim groups in the UK for the first time.

    These people take advantage of the European system of tolerance and liberal values and undermine the system by bringing to Europe their tribal, cultural and religious values into a country where they already have an established system. Everything from blasting Prayer azan calls in the morning, to honor killings of daughters, burqas, etc, are imported in the name of multi-culturalism.

    After a while the local people just get sick of them. Can you blame them ??

    If you want to migrate to a foreign country, then accept and respect the pre-dominant culture, values, and ethos of those countries !!!

    Otherwise go and live in Pakistan or Saudi or wherever. If you really want sharia law implemented nationwide and endless azan calls at all hours of the day, then why live in England....go live in freaking Pakistan, or Saudi or Egypt.

    Switzerland has every right to say that they want to maintain the Judeo-christian cultural fabric of their country. Unlike India, Brazil, US, - Switzerland is and has always been a fairly homogeneous society just like Japan, Greece, Scandinavian countries.

    These countries have small populations and have provided their citizens with some of the highest standard of living and best quality of life of any countries in the world.

    They certainly dont need any lectures from Indians or from any of the many screwed-up Muslim countries on this planet on how to run their countries. They have done very well for themselves.
     
  16. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Poll breakdowns indicate that people from rural Switzerland who have little contact with muslims voted in favour of the ban, whereas urban populations who are exposed to muslims in daily life tended to vote against.
     
  17. truthfull

    truthfull Regular Member

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    i aggree with you, except army and some of 10 % population ,rest all suffer from inferitia complexia considering us as low and our culture. but wait for gods justice to such countries. See the stand taken by eu against turkey. if india has been the place of eu he has given membership to saudis also. like india is propagating membership fo pakistan in asean but benefit we will get from including pak in asean ,pranab mukhrejee has stated that india will support pak for nuclear deal like india. see tnhis fool attitude.
     
  18. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sorry, but do you know about what "stand" the EU has taken against Turkey?
    Turkey has a powerful army that in the past could dismiss governments if they were perceived to be non secular enough. Any hint of Islam or Islamic rhetoric in the political discourse used to lead to things like arrests and court proceedings. This was opposed by Europe because it was seen as a breach of freedom of speech and other political freedoms. In order to gain acceptance in the EU, Turkey recently elected an Islamist (relatively) political party, and the army immediately moved to sue and dismiss the government. However, the government has managed to stick on.
    Turkey has some of the severest restrictions on religious freedoms in Europe. Hijabs/headscarves were banned from universities and schools (which I believe has been reversed by the current government).
     
  19. x11

    x11 New Member

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    Swiss are proud of their culture and language.

    So much that they first speak to foreigners in Swiss German...only if the other person does not understand that they use english.

    In zurich there are less than 40% swiss people...so the fear is justified.
     
  20. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    People from cities like Zurich opposed the ban, while people from rural-regions of Switzerland supported it. How do you explain that?
     
  21. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    sir, you missed my point by a mile. I am not at all comparing the Saudis to the Swiss. My post was in relation to the people who have come out in India in protest against this attack on religious freedom, do not have the guts to take up the issue in an international fora.

    It is not my place to argue whether the Swiss have done the right thing or the wrong thing, it is their country and they can make laws which as long as do not degenerate into like what Adolf Hitler did to the Jews.

    The point we can argue is that if the Swiss go on tom tmoing about religious freedom to other countries than their hypocracy stands exposed today to the ridicule of the other nation states.
     

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