Swiss Vote to Ban Minarets

VayuSena1

Professional
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
200
Likes
14

specifically the Liberals and the Muslim community so worked-up about it?


We all know why Muslims are against it but many don't know that Liberals are behind ALL this troubles in the 1st place.
They are the one who advocated global market and opening of all European borders which resulted in total invasion of Europe for simple objective to lower the wages that provoked big erosion of quality of life for many Europeans.

Now Liberals are affraid be cause of minarets that their rich Muslim clients might go to some other tax paradise - all is about the money they really don't care even if Swiss becomes Islamic republic. They can always go elsewhere but ordinary Swiss people have NO OTHER Swiss to go to....
And it is the same problem all around the Europe!
They should not be worried very rich people have all the same religion and nationality and it is called money!

WHY Muslims don't ask many other Muslim countries that do NOT permit Christian churches let alone Jewish temples to change their attitude ?!?

That doesn't bother them at all of course but they always ask for more!

They have Mosques to go to have prayer and nobody disturbs them to do that which is still much more than they give in many Muslim countries to others!
There are even examples of burning Jewish temples in France linked always with
conflicts in Palestine or attacking Jews on the street!
Which probably shows the destiny of Christians if they ever become minority to Muslims in Europe...

Muslims know how to scream about "injustice" and absence of "rights" they NEVER had even close in their Muslim country of origin !

Neither do Christians make such demand in Muslim countries as it has been well noticed. It is always the Muslim immigrants that get radicalized and provoked over simple reasons of national law of their host country.

I can't agree more with your words here!
I am personally for any foreigner in foreign country to show RESPECT and against all proselytism of any religion in other countries than your own!
If people would act like that there would be much less problems.

The problem is that Qur'an doesn't recognize civil authority of non believers
( European civil authority) over the Muslims - therefore Muslims are bound always to try to impose themselves to "infidels". If they are ruled by non Muslims they are NOT true Muslims by Qur'an !
That is the essence of the problem !


They are trying now simply by multiplying themselves to impose themselves be cause they understood that they can't achieve that by bombs !
Alliance from Liberals and all Left Wing parties in common objective to protect Muslim emigration to continue arriving in Europe even today when Europe has huge unemployment problem - will grow problem even bigger...

Ordinary people can't take it any more!
Their lives are being KIDNAPPED by to many Muslims so fast that they couldn't even adapt
And now their lives are turned into something else that has nothing to do with Europe and European tradition.
That is what that Swiss vote is about in my oppinion!
They don't want to hear Arab shouted 5 times day be cause it is Swiss not Saudi Arabia .
One day people wake up and decide they can not take it any more!
It is as simple as that.

First time when I arrived in Brussels 14years ago I was shocked to see so many women with black hijabs that show only eyes in city center!
It was like being in Morocco not in center of Europe!
On top that has nothing to do with European tradition to treat women as equal!
And examples are ENDLESS.

I can easily overflow this thread with plenty of examples (videos, articles etc.) of Muslim excesses that are not acceptable to Europe and it is like that for decades!
Starting with Muslim riots where they openly call on imposing Muslim domination in Europe in front of our own eyes to burning cars by their youngsters mobs...
And negating Christian origin of European civilization by their EU political elite !

One has impression that they are the hosts and native Europeans visitors !


...............
That is what that Swiss vote is about in my opinion!
They don't want to hear Arab shouted 5 times day be cause it is Swiss not Saudi Arabia .
This is not just an issue in Switzerland but a lot of non-Muslim countries where only a small handful of educated Muslim minorities accept modern way of life and abide by national law. This is quite a problem even in areas near Bangladesh such as Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura states in northeastern India and certain regions of here in Uttar Pradesh.

Due to widespread ignorance, the extremist mullahs are able to brainwash the youth into not accepting national law but Sharia and further fool them by calling any personal attack against them as an attack against Islam. For instance, take the rather ignored case of West Bengal post-Durga Puja. The maulvi of a mosque who was getting disturbed by a religious procession outside the mosque called it as an attack on Islam, while most of his followers needlessly rioted against the Hindu mob.

This religious intolerance is quite well-placed around the world and sadly it is caused mostly by Islamic minorities, which is to say rather unfortunate. Instead of choosing the paths of great men like Dr. Kalam and Param Vir Chakra Recipient Abdul Hamid, they choose to follow the rather hostile and medievel culture of barbarity and violence preserved till date in extremist countries like those in our neighborhood.

It is extremely regrettable that while other minorities agree to respect the majority religion and accept the culture of the land, most of these Muslims-in-question don't accept it.
 

jakojako777

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
2,957
Likes
40
This is not just an issue in Switzerland but a lot of non-Muslim countries where only a small handful of educated Muslim minorities accept modern way of life and abide by national law. This is quite a problem even in areas near Bangladesh such as Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura states in northeastern India and certain regions of here in Uttar Pradesh.

Due to widespread ignorance, the extremist mullahs are able to brainwash the youth into not accepting national law but Sharia and further fool them by calling any personal attack against them as an attack against Islam. For instance, take the rather ignored case of West Bengal post-Durga Puja. The maulvi of a mosque who was getting disturbed by a religious procession outside the mosque called it as an attack on Islam, while most of his followers needlessly rioted against the Hindu mob.

This religious intolerance is quite well-placed around the world and sadly it is caused mostly by Islamic minorities, which is to say rather unfortunate. Instead of choosing the paths of great men like Dr. Kalam and Param Vir Chakra Recipient Abdul Hamid, they choose to follow the rather hostile and medievel culture of barbarity and violence preserved till date in extremist countries like those in our neighborhood.

It is extremely regrettable that while other minorities agree to respect the majority religion and accept the culture of the land, most of these Muslims-in-question don't accept it.


This is not just an issue in Switzerland but a lot of non-Muslim countries where only a small handful of educated Muslim minorities accept modern way of life and abide by national law.


I agree! The problem is that those non educated Muslims do NOT want to go back to their countries but want to impose Islam, Shariah, and all that goes with that to the Europeans !
Than if we ever try to defend ourselves, we have "good intentional" guys like here Known-Unknown who jump on occasion and accuse of racism absence of tolerance and whatever not, those who dare to speak.

Due to widespread ignorance, the extremist mullahs are able to brainwash the youth into not accepting national law but Sharia and further fool them by calling any personal attack against them as an attack against Islam.

For the extremist in Europe, I just hope that they'll start to send them back finally. But European Globalist political elite tries bets they can to ignore the problem or do the favours to the Muslims to cam them down!
It is proved that favors and compromise does NOT work with them!
Europe still has all legal rights on expulsion of those who are working actively against our security.
We just need politicians ready to do that.
For India is more complicated be cause those people are Indians.
Perhaps the only way to fight that backwardness is knowledge.
Government should impose (if already is not case) minimum education to every child in the country (and to make it possible also).
Also means of communication like TV is very important of broadening general knowledge of population (specially youth).

It is extremely regrettable that while other minorities agree to respect the majority religion and accept the culture of the land, most of these Muslims-in-question don't accept it.

I'm far from being expert on Islam but I know few basic things
(I even have read Qu'ran) I think I know what is the root cause, that Muslims reject other cultures.

It is in the very essence of Qu'ran to advise Muslims to govern themselves (and others if and when possible ) and spread their religion.

Islam tells them that non Muslims can not govern Muslims be cause in that case Muslims are not true Muslim any longer.
That is why they separate two types of land(correct me if I'm wrong) one as Muslim (governed) land and other as non Muslim (governed) land
(on which still can live Muslims)..
And only way for those who don't live on Muslim land....only way for them to become true Muslims again is to live on land governed by Muslims or to become Muslim governed land themselves.
That is what they truly hope and often even tell us here in Europe our Muslim guests ....
There is nothing in Islam that invites Muslims to absorb or accept culture or governance of others.

Of course intelligent educated Muslims know how to relitivize those messages
and interpret Qu'ran from its pacifist more tolerant side....
 

jakojako777

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
2,957
Likes
40
Its quite the opposite infact. Most muslim minorities live quite a "modern" life in Europe, but a small percentage among them don't.

OK if I am wrong who is than burning cars every year in France, who is making riots when not pleased either with caricatures or Palestine or something else, who is participating in terrorist activities like going to Islamic training camps or planing terror attacks, or example why Norwegians have 87% crime done by immigrants of whom majority is MUSLIMS?

WHY young Muslims are encouraged to rape young Western girls be cause they "look like whores" the way they dress(not covered heads!)!!
And why the number of the rapes is rising?
Example -Why young Iraqi who asked for humanitarian asile for "being gay"
was arrested for raping 3 Swedish girls !?!

Is that always same "minority" we talk about?
Call it any way you want the problem is that
that minority is not so small (and probably not minority specially among young Muslim teenagers!)
Why some suburbs in Europe are not accessible (even for police!) during the night?
Why people in Europe must be scared of the violence of those who came to look for better life?
I am emigrant also and I was victim of the attack in the center of Brussels at about 20 h. in the evening and they took my money.
It was not difficult to recognize Arabs be cause of their curly black hair even though they tried to hide their faces!
Their excuse often is that they were discriminated but they don't see what they do! I also did worst kind of jobs when I've arrived to the West and was discriminated as foreigner but I worked hard and finally got decent job.
It never crossed my mind to attack anybody and rob the money!

If anything is "exaggerated" today it is "politically correct" speech we must listen on TV all the time!
They do NOT put up with peoples every day problems!
How do you think one feels to find burned car in the morning ?!!
They will not burn luxury car in rich neighborhood be cause to much police but car of ordinary guy who worked hard to earn them!

Muslims must wake up be cause Europe is going through big economic crisis and it is difficult for everybody!
If those youngsters prefer to burn cars and attack people they should better go back to their Muslim countries before it is to late!

Be cause the way things are in global politics today even larger conflict between Islam and West is possible and than things will turn very bad for all those young aggressive Muslims in Europe if not earlier!

...........
 

Flint

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
1,621
Likes
155
^Athens has been in the throes of mass rioting for the past week (no muslims involved). Did anybody on this forum take notice? Unfortunately a lot of these things are exaggerated by selective media coverage. Now I'm not saying that there isn't any problem, but iits very easy to string together a bunch of incidents and make it seem scarier than it really is.
 

sob

Mod
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
6,425
Likes
3,802
Country flag
Intolerance

Intolerance is a two-way street

Underground and secretly maintained Krishna temples in Iran? Yes. And I’ll tell you why I am beginning this column on the raging global debate on the recent Swiss ban on the construction of new minarets by recalling a stunning personal experience in Iran.

When I first visited Iran a decade after the Khomeini revolution, an Indian friend working for an Indian company in the country said to me, “Let me take you to a vegetarian restaurant in Tehran that serves Indian food.” I enjoyed the meal and complimented the restaurant’s owner, who happened to be a highly placed scientist in a university. My friend then said to the owner, “Why don’t you show him the special place in your restaurant?” The owner led us to the basement, and then to an underground room with narrow steps whose entrance was concealed. The room was filled with the aroma of agarbatti, sandalwood paste and flowers, kept in front of an icon of Krishna and Radha. The music system was playing, at a barely audible volume, the rhythmic chant ‘Rama Rama Hare Hare, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare’. The owner told me that he and a small group of Krishna devotees (all of them Iranians) use the place as a temple for daily prayers. I didn’t ask him why his group prayed at a clandestine temple. It’s stupid to ask questions whose answers you know.

During a subsequent visit to Iran, this time as a member of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s delegation, I discovered that one of the interpreters, an educated woman in black chador, was a devotee of Sai Baba. “We have several devotees in Iran,” she said, “Also of Ramana Maharshi. We have secret congregations. I go to Puttaparthi whenever I visit India.”

Surprised? You can read an entire chapter devoted to the secret followers of “Krishnaism” in Iran, and how they are routinely persecuted by the authorities, in Aatish Taseer’s wonderfully written Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands.

The global outcry against the Swiss referendum prompts me to ask myself a troubling question which is hardly debated in the Indian media: “The ban is wrong and condemnable, but why is there no protest against, and not even a discussion on, the near-total denial of religious freedom for non-Muslims in most Muslim countries?” Saudi Arabia prohibits the construction of any non-Muslim place of worship on its soil. A non-Muslim cannot even enter Mecca and Medina. Most Gulf countries disallow building of churches and synagogues. Hindu temples, of course, are a no-no. A friend who worked in Saudi Arabia once told me that he was not allowed to carry even pictures of Hindu deities to be used for worship at home. “The immigration staff at the airport found the pictures in my bag and simply threw them aside.” Non-Muslim employees cannot celebrate their festivals in public. This, in spite of the fact that millions of non-Muslim immigrants have been working in these countries for many years, contributing immensely to their economic prosperity and social wellbeing.
In the debate on the Swiss ban, here is a European blogger’s comment on the Net: “Muslims are allowed to do dawa, build/repair mosques, and openly practice their faith in the West. Yet, in the Islamic world, these activities for Christians are severely restricted if not outright prohibited. Muslims can convert us, but the other way around is viewed as a provocation. Only one demographic group in Europe has created literally hundreds of no-go areas. You don’t hear about Hindus, Buddhists, or any other faith group creating these kinds of areas. I want to see the gap bridged between the two civilisations, but it takes two to dance.”

There are also other asymmetries. The US, Canada and almost all European countries accept Muslim immigrants from around the world and even grant them citizenship. This accounts for the rapid rise in the Muslim population in the West. On the contrary, very few Muslim countries grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants if they refuse to embrace Islam. Indeed, even the population of native religious minorities in the Islamic world is shrinking each year, largely due to official and unofficial persecution. In Sadanand Dhume’s extremely readable debut book My Friend The Fanatic, which describes the steady Arabisation of Indonesia, he says this about neighbouring Malaysia, another Muslim majority country: “A Yemeni or a Pakistani might show up today and his children would be considered sons of the soil and given preferences in everything from college admissions to business contracts. The children of a Buddhist or Christian Chinese or of a Hindu Tamil who had lived there a hundred years remained foreign.”

Yes, the Swiss move on minarets is unjustified. Yet, many liberals who oppose the ban are alarmed by the illiberal voices that have emanated from the Muslim world. They especially refer to the words of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey who heads an Islamist party in a country that is still secular: “The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks and the faithful our army.”

Clearly, Muslims around the world need to do some self-reflection on inter-religious relations in our globalised world. If secularism, pluralism and tolerance are necessary in Muslim-minority countries, they are equally necessary in Muslim-majority countries. Double standards won’t do.
 

jakojako777

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
2,957
Likes
40
^Athens has been in the throes of mass rioting for the past week (no muslims involved). Did anybody on this forum take notice? Unfortunately a lot of these things are exaggerated by selective media coverage. Now I'm not saying that there isn't any problem, but iits very easy to string together a bunch of incidents and make it seem scarier than it really is.


No it is OK to have such comments..... and all others that can give the most objective picture possible.

We all have our subjective limited point of view, me included....

I don't find your comment 100% adequate be cause comparison is not exactly the same...
If for no other reason than for the fact that Greeks can do in their country whatever they want.....

Once again I'm emigrant and never have been in riots, burning cars, making bomb or attacking or robing people and never had any intentions to do so.
And know plenty of people like me........

If I read in newspapers that in UK airport police have arrested Dutch Muslim woman (mother of don't remember how many children) who had USB stick with files that had exact instructions how to make bombs than I ask myself so many questions....

Find me ONE immigrant non-Muslim mother that would do the same and I'll shut up not ever to open my mouth again!
 

sob

Mod
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
6,425
Likes
3,802
Country flag
Jakojako777,

This phenomenon is not restricted to immigrants. Recently we have seen that even the 2nd generation of the immigrants who have been born and raised in Europe/USA have been found to be involved in terrorist activities.
 

jakojako777

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
2,957
Likes
40
Jakojako777,

This phenomenon is not restricted to immigrants. Recently we have seen that even the 2nd generation of the immigrants who have been born and raised in Europe/USA have been found to be involved in terrorist activities.

Yes, I have said that also by underlying that immigrants from eastern Europe like me integrate already in first generation while those from Africa and Asia (Muslims (sorry!)) take at least two or more generations to integrate.

Doesn't mean that all Muslims don't integrate! Like we all underlined those well educated modern Muslims easily integrate...but those refugees - example - from Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Somalia rural parts is whole another story....
Why European authorities refuse to see those facts that is another question....

I never herd of Indian terrorist or Chinese rioters (some EU cities have very big Chinese communities though).
So why non Muslims don't make trouble(if you have photos please send me!) But there are plenty of photos and videos with Muslim mob in Europe...WHY?!
I am personally fed up with "politically correct" talk, problems must be called with their names to be addressed....
Economic crisis and blindness of political elite will just bring up rise of extreme right and make life difficult for everybody here in Europe...
Just like it was before 2nd world war...
 

jakojako777

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
2,957
Likes
40
As for doubt that I might be anti - Muslim I must underline that I am categorically
against all occupations of Muslim countries that just exports trouble to Europe and rest of the world..

Here I recommend one nice video on that subject that exactly reflect how I feel about USA & NATO aggressions on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israels attitude to Palestinians
(BTW it is true that we Serbs were agressed & bombed by USA & NATO yet we didn't put any bombs anywhere hmm...I have no answer on that)


If You Want to Stop Terrorism, Stop Killing Muslims

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW0eiPiuUuk&feature=sub
 

Energon

DFI stars
Ambassador
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
1,199
Likes
765
Country flag
IMO sensationalism and religious victimization swept in so soon that objectivity was simply excluded prior to the onset of hysteria. This referendum isn't conclusive of anything; it proves neither the presence or absence of Islamaphobia in the Swiss populace. There could be other factors contributing to the result of the referendum.

For one, nobody seems to be interested in addressing the long standing Swiss cultural sense of aesthetic. The Swiss have always been very particular about the preservation of the design and aesthetic value of their living space and environment. In fact they are world renowned for it which in turn makes their country a highly sought after tourist destination. Other than ancient Catholic churches in the older quarters of towns, there is relatively less of an emphasis upon religious symbolism (Christian or otherwise), and more so on their cultural real estate designs depending upon the canton.

Since there are no control studies here, none of this is definitive, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were to be a similar outcome in the event Pagodas, Hindu Temples, LDS church structures, grotesque American malls or anything outside their architectural scope were listed alongside the mosque on that referendum. What is clear however is that the SVP has exploited this situation to garner attention to their bigoted agenda.

Geneva, the epicenter of this movement and home to a litany of INGOs, hosts many expatriates of all colors and faiths from all over the world. Nobody has asked Muslims to stop practicing their faith, or cease having religious organizations, prayer sessions etc. Nor has the state altered its immigration policy to exclude Muslims. I go to Switzerland fairly often and my parents have been living there for years; actually their apartment is in a vibrant Islamic section of town. Granted this is all anecdotal, but based on extensive traveling to various corners of Switzerland using public transportation, and boarding everywhere from small sublets and youth hostels to five star ski resorts, I have always found the Swiss to be extremely hospitable and docile. Other than this random incident, I have never once seen or heard of violent protests, clashes or anti Islam rhetoric in the public sphere.

I don't know if the Swiss have now become a collective Islamaphobic people, they could very well be, its just that this referendum doesn't substantially prove that.
 

Flint

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
1,621
Likes
155
As for doubt that I might be anti - Muslim I must underline that I am categorically
against all occupations of Muslim countries that just exports trouble to Europe and rest of the world..

Here I recommend one nice video on that subject that exactly reflect how I feel about USA & NATO aggressions on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israels attitude to Palestinians
(BTW it is true that we Serbs were agressed & bombed by USA & NATO yet we didn't put any bombs anywhere hmm...I have no answer on that)


If You Want to Stop Terrorism, Stop Killing Muslims

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW0eiPiuUuk&feature=sub
I dont' agree with that assertion at all. That's a rather naive way to look at things.
 

jakojako777

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
2,957
Likes
40
I dont' agree with that assertion at all. That's a rather naive way to look at things.
Well I don't know if it is "naive" but I would agree that is over simplified if used as one and only answer on that complex problematic.
But than those who did that video don't give impression that they think to be the one who give universal answer... just direction in which people should look at to find some answers..

It is fact that Europe has received hundreds of thousand refugees from Iraq as result of all wars there.

It is fact that even today they still arrive in Europe, many of them Iraqi Kurds.

As much is it is fact that same thing are doing refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan now...
Hello, Europe the promised land of Muslim peasants!!
Arrived from some remote lost in time village with no electricity and running water...

Let alone those who come from all the conflict regions in Africa and those who ask for political aisle.
Many of those people are paying fortune to organized criminals to bring them to Europe
Plenty of them doesn't have not even basic education and many of them represent very conservative understanding of the Islam from which they pretend to escape...

Once they are helped to find jobs and houses many of them turn very hostile
be cause nationalist or Islamic fervor or both grows in them when they see victims in their country or in some ports of Islamic world..
Like now they can see now in Afghanistan and Pakistan also..
It is sad story that those people don't even watch local European television but very often Arabic channels or satellite TV of their countries.
So they are very much involved in all local political turbulence
Which sometime can make every bodies life miserable here in Europe like in case of so much media focused Palestine problems.
Some Muslims would go into extremes not only to volunteer for fight but in some cases to beat Jews or burn synagogues (France) or simply join extremist wing of Islamic movement in Europe.
What I try to say is
Some Muslims maybe even come here in Europe as moderate but they become extremists and Christian haters here in Europe.
Be cause of conflicts in their country of origin or such...

It would be great if Muslims take more rich Muslim countries as their destination
so nobody will be worried when some Muslim youngsters travel to Afghanistan or Pakistan as "tourists".
 

sob

Mod
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
6,425
Likes
3,802
Country flag
The symbolism of a mosque



The minaret of the new Grand Mosque of Marseille, whose cornerstone will be laid in Marseille in April, will be silent—no muezzin, live or recorded, will disturb the neighbourhood with the call to prayer. Instead, the minaret will flash a beam of light for a couple of minutes, five times a day.

Normally, the light would be green, for the colour of Islam. But Marseille is a port, and green is reserved for signals to ships at sea. Red? No, the firefighters have reserved red. Instead, said Noureddine Cheikh, the head of the Marseille Mosque Association, the light will almost surely be purple—a rather nightclubby look for such an elegant building. So is this assimilation? Cheikh laughs. “I suppose it is,” he said. “It’s a good symbol of assimilation.”

But as Western Europe is plunged into a new bout of anxiety over the impact of post-colonial Muslim immigration—reeling in varying ways from the implications of a recent Swiss vote to ban minarets altogether—some scholars see a destructive dynamic, with assimilation feeding a reaction that spawns resentment, particularly among young Muslims.

Vincent Geisser, a scholar of Islam and immigration at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, believes that the more Europe’s Muslims establish themselves as a permanent part of the national scene, the more they frighten some who believe that their national identity could be altered forever.

“Today in Europe, the fear of Islam crystallises all other fears,” Geisser said. “In Switzerland, it’s minarets. In France, it’s the veil, the burqa and the beard.”

The new mosque, which its builders call “the symbol of Marseillais Islam,” is a source of pride in France’s second-largest city, which is at least 25 per cent Muslim. But it is also cause for alarm, Geisser said, embodying the paradox that visible signs of integration set off xenophobic anxiety.

The change has been significant over the last five years, Geisser said. “Now we’re at a crossroads,” he said, of a complicated European anxiety that stems from economic crisis; the fear of globalisation; the perceived increase in immigration as European birthrates fall; and the subsuming of national states into an enlarged Europe. “There is an angst over identity in Europe,” he said. “There’s a feeling that Europe is becoming smaller and less important. Europe is like an old lady, who whenever she hears a noise thinks it’s a burglary.” This generalised anxiety and fear is translated into a specific one, he argues: Islam, “a box in which everyone expresses their fears.”

The European Union is believed to have more than 15 million Muslims. France has five million to six million Muslims, the most in Western Europe.In general, relations between Muslims and other Europeans have been good. But the terrorism associated with attacks in France in 1995 and 2001 in the United States has resonated through the years, reinforced by the Madrid train bombings in 2004; the killing that year of the Dutch film director Theo van Gogh, a critic of conservative Muslims; the London bombings of 2005; and the controversy over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published the same year.
In 2004, France banned the head scarf (and other signs of religious affiliation) in public schools. It is now debating a ban on the burqa, by which the government seems to mean any full facial covering, including the niqab, which shows the eyes. That controversial measure is caught up in a government-sponsored debate over national identity, led by the ministry that also handles immigration.

This year, the Danes and the Swiss have brought a new focus to mosques and minarets. Plans for Copenhagen’s first two large mosques have met with strong opposition from the right. The Swiss vote brought widespread condemnation of fear-mongering and racism, including from Switzerland’s own government.

Youcef Mammeri, a writer on Islam in France and member of the Joint Council of Muslims of Marseille, says the debates over minarets, burqas and national identity have angered many French-born Muslims and made them defensive.

When he travels abroad, to New York, Barcelona or Algiers, Mammeri said, “I’m French; I feel French. But in France, in Marseille every day, you have these same questions, repeated stupidly: what about the burqa, the mosque, terrorism.”
 

Global Defence

Articles

Top