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Swiss ban mosque minarets in surprise vote

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“The Swiss have failed to give a clear signal for diversity, freedom of religion and human rights,” said Omar Al-Rawi.

What Muslim nation has ever given a clear signal for diversity, freedom of religion and human rights? Why should the West struggle to be tolerant of the most militant, viral and intolerant of all religions?

“It’s a sad day for freedom of religion,” said Mohammed Shafiq

LOL! Go promote freedom of religion in your home country and see if you keep your head.

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Oh Boo Hoo! Try building a bell tower with a cross on top in Riyahd and see how that flies.

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Oh Boo Hoo! Try building a bell tower with a cross on top in Riyahd and see how that flies." Oh better, try flying in with a cross on your lapel.

Good on the swiss, here's why: "Muslim groups in Switzerland and abroad condemned the vote as biased and anti-Islamic." Why should there be a muslim group period in a place that is not Islamic and who the hell are those abroad to make any noise..... Try diversity in your own place and let's see how things roll.

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jager- How about trying Syria instead of Saudi?

The inhabitants of Damascus approve, that the flight of the apostle was held at a gate Bab Kisan, there is no time of the Roman gate Saturn, nowadays transformed in a Christian bell tower.

http://www.leensyria.com/city.php

Should the Swiss aim for the example of the Saudis or the Syrians on the score of religious buildings?

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Should religious freedom be a right? I think this decision should go to the International World Court. Hopefully, religious freedom will prevail to the benefit of all peoples. The decision should be binding on all countries.

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Good move on the part of the Swiss...they recognize that Islam is using religion as a means to further political ambitions, and not really a religion, but a plan for world domination. The muslims cry foul when their religion is restricted, but muslims kill all those in their own countries that practice religions other than the fake religion of islam.

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Excellent!! I'm extrememly happy that this passed.

What Muslim nation has ever given a clear signal for diversity, freedom of religion and human rights? Why should the West struggle to be tolerant of the most militant, viral and intolerant of all religions?

-

Good move on the part of the Swiss...they recognize that Islam is using religion as a means to further political ambitions, and not really a religion, but a plan for world domination. The muslims cry foul when their religion is restricted, but muslims kill all those in their own countries that practice religions other than the fake religion of islam.

100% correct on both counts.

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Let the Swiss decide how their country is going to be run and if the Swiss-Muslims don't like it, then move to an all Muslim country and build all the Mosques and Minarets your heart desires.

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Hopefully, religious freedom will prevail to the benefit of all peoples." Please list, for us non-believers, what benefit has come from religion? Religion has prevented much of what science has proved. If you want religion fine, but IT MUST STAY OUT of politics.... which is something most Muslims led countries can not nor won't do. In fact, Muslim communities have made sure their politics be based on Islam. Now, this does not include someone who just happens to be born in a Muslim country, to muslim parents, what not.....

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Good on the Swiss, but I hope Swiss Air is now looking into instituting stricter security measures...

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Say no to racism!

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30061015:jager1:skipthesong:numbskull: other countries has no relevance at all here. The minarets topic has been there for while. I voted against not because I refuse them the right to be Muslim, not because I refuse them to practice their faith but because it just doesn't fit in the landscape. Futile reason maybe. They have plenty of mosques already. I still don't understand why it so necessary for them to have minarets to be integrated.

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franz75: other countries has no relevance at all here.

Of course they do franz75. Some set good examples and some set bad ones. The real problem is that we have liars here and also people who don't how to use Google.

because it just doesn't fit in the landscape.

I hope no one thinks franz75 is joking. He isn't. In Switzerland you can't even build a house unless it fits with the surroundings. I kid you not.

I should have considered that one myself. I certainly don't agree with it, but for the Swiss, this whole decision is not out of the ordinary and for most Swiss its not tit for tat for a handful of Muslim country's intolerance. (And Saudi represents the M.E. about as much Ireland represents the west!)(And yes I noticed how some of you pathetic uneducated xenophobes just skated right past the bell tower thing. I should not expect lamos to man up to their mistakes.)

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" “It’s a sad day for freedom of religion,” said Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, "

I take it Mohammed Shafiq did not get around to comment on the "freedom of religion" as practised around the muslim world. How free are Christians and Jews to build big Churches and and Synagogues to build big churches and synagogues anywhere, were islam rules?

And the only thing that the Swiss did was to limit the height of the minaret, for crying out loud. Nothing more than that.

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franz75:

" They have plenty of mosques already. I still don't understand why it so necessary for them to have minarets to be integrated. "

Thats double speak. The purpose of the minarets reaching higher than the cityscape is not to "integrate", but to dominate. Which is the whole point, of course.

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WilliB: And the only thing that the Swiss did was to limit the height of the minaret, for crying out loud. Nothing more than that.

After a while one starts to think some people's "mistakes" (esp when they have so many!) have specific intents and goals. Spoon fed misinformation. Do you aspire to join the creeps at the CIA? No, this latest referendum seeks a constitutional ban on all minarets in Switzerland except those already standing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minaret_controversy_in_Switzerland

Google is your friend people, as much as it is the enemy of WillB.

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numbskull: "Of course they do franz75" Nope. Other countries do want they want in their backyard. If they don't want churches on their land, good for them. It's my backyard and I decided what I want to do with it. I didn't think about other countries and their politics.

WilliB: Showing how powerful, Islam, Christian, Judaism, etc by building big structure are is stupid in my sens.

WayneRooney10: this is not racism. We don't forbid them to be Muslims, close their halal shops or force them to convert.

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franz75: Human rights are not a majority rules issue. I understand the desire for a uniformly beautiful Switzerland, but citing the rights of people to build what they want on the land they bought, I think the only compromise I could offer is to have traditional and non-traditional zones in Switzerland.

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Now, Muslim countries have a tangible reason to not build churches with crosses on existing towers, or remove them.

If at some point even the construction of mosques is forbidden, then it will be bad for many churches.

This vote shows why there is no referendum in Japan. In some cases, the voice of the people is in fact not easily controlled by well-thought, rational reason, but by mood and emotions. Must be respected, but still, for better or worse.

Just as to my personal vote on what I will buy: No more products from Switzerland and Swiss companies, even if it's just a piece of cheese or chocolate.

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Foxie: Now, Muslim countries have a tangible reason to not build churches with crosses on existing towers, or remove them.

"Some other guy did it" is not a reason and it never was. Other people have ideas that we choose to copy or not, but the reasons are separate from "well he did it", or should be. I choose not to follow xenophobes and I choose to value people's rights over people's desire to preserve the past.

And not all Muslim countries think and act alike. Egypt has a lot of Coptic Christians, and they have the Hanging Church and the Monastary of St. Catherine, both of which have....BELL TOWERS...DONG!

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Foxie: "No more products from Switzerland and Swiss companies, even if it's just a piece of cheese or chocolate."

Good for you!

numbskull: "I think the only compromise I could offer is to have traditional and non-traditional zones in Switzerland."

I know that a ban is extreme. They can build a mosque on the land they bought. The minaret poses me a problem. Ambiguous feeling of being xenophobe without being one. I'm myself a foreigner here.

I knew there will be no pray calls but still doesn't fit. Hard to explain...

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"I think the only compromise I could offer is to have traditional and non-traditional zones in Switzerland." Well, why? how about not going to a place that goes completely against your beliefs. Why do you feel that things have to change to accommodate Muslims and all must be so open arm-ed, especially to a group who are very closed minded?

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besides, Switzerland already has way too many conservative christians, now you want to cater to an even more conservative bunch? As least you don't have to worry about your life picking up one of their daughters!

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Egypt has a lot of Coptic Christians" And the gov is secular for the most part. All one has to do is attend one of the functions at the Egyptian embassy to know that. but still, please don't paint a picture that everyone gets long. and, note the fact that Egypt has been like that for a long time and they still have a lot of dangerous issues and up risings. Perhaps you haven't been there in the last 10 years or so.

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Oh my, this is most unfortunate. Spirits are very low at the Dearborn Kabob House. We have known for years that measures like this were imminent in the United States, and we gathered the kind of lawyers and money it takes to fight such xenophobia, but to witness Switzerland - the heart of Europe - legitimizing such extremism and Islamophobia is a terrible, terrible shock.

I fear something has radicalized ordinary Swiss people.

I wonder what it could be. Of course, the big worry now is that the US government will follow suit and also ban mosques and minarets.

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Of course, the big worry now is that the US government will follow suit and also ban mosques and minarets.

Nonsense. In America you can build anything you want as long it's connected to a sewer main.

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And the gov is secular for the most part. All one has to do is attend one of the functions at the Egyptian embassy to know that.

And I knew that. But Egypt is still a Muslim country. The bent of the government is splitting hairs. If you are not going whine about somebody citing the extremist Saudi Arabia, why take issue with me citing the mild Egypt? Bias perhaps? I deny neither. They both have weight. And further, they are but two countries out of dozens.

and, note the fact that Egypt has been like that for a long time and they still have a lot of dangerous issues and up risings.

Earth to skip...everybody down here has dangerous issues and uprisings!

And if Coptic Christians are enough for you, how about Episcopalians?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_Church_in_Jerusalem_and_the_Middle_East

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skipthesong: "Switzerland already has way too many conservative christians" what ? Are you making a reference to Econe?

ProfJuanColePhd: "legitimizing such extremism and Islamophobia is a terrible, terrible shock" that is a problem. People now will try to make a link between a decision we took and Islamophobia. This is not the same.

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franz: my point is that we have had enough with religion, especially one that promotes itself in very Machiavellian ways.

How about a trade off??? I want all countries in the Muslim world to open up more Churches and Synagogues, and allow atheists more freedom to speak and question the religion. Once we see that, then we can talk and the Swiss will be wrong. But at the moment, all one has to do is look at Germany and London to build up concern. Its not xenophobia, the Swiss are really doing the same as most Muslim countries.

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"I fear something has radicalized ordinary Swiss people.

I wonder what it could be."

Stellar post, ProfJuanColePhd! Hit the nail on the head with that one.

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Of course, the big worry now is that the US government will follow suit and also ban mosques and minarets." If it makes you feel any better, I'd oppose a church too if it were being built near any of my properties.. Anyway, I highly doubt the US government would do anything like that at this point - they are either down with Muslims or they're afraid of pissing them off. We now have Islamic schools, businesses, and even some banks that comply and you are going to gripe about one spot?

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This has nothing to do with the Muezzin call going out through tinny electric loudspeakers to the wider community? Birmingham had that problem, I believe. Some people wanted to pull the plug.

So, they are just a silent eyesore?

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The Swiss people have democratically made a decision, and that is their basic human right. It should be respected. Muslim countries persecute Christians within their borders, and in some extreme cases kill or attack them. Islam is not a tolerant religion, and some of its followers have been guilty of mass murder and mayhem, while shouting a greeting to their god. The Swiss people have quietly said "no" to having the outwards signs of this religion displayed in their country. That is their preogative.

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skip: "Well, why? how about not going to a place that goes completely against your beliefs."

It's a multi-cultural nation, skip, and evidently with a government that is discriminatory. If everyone did you're 'not going to a place that is against your beliefs' thing no one would be anywhere except in tiny isolated regions at outright war with one another. No Cubans would have been allowed into the US, no Americans would have been allowed because of the Native North Americans, none of you would be allowed in Japan, ad nauseum. In this modern day statements like yours have no place except behind the closed doors of angry bigots and racists.

"Anyway, I highly doubt the US government would do anything like that at this point - they are either down with Muslims or they're afraid of pissing them off."

Or perhaps your nation is slightly more open-minded than these bigots? Nah, could never be something positive so long as Muslims are involved, eh skip? It's always amusing to hear you guys scream and shout about how Muslims should be screened and Islam banned, but then go on rants about how Obama is promoting 'Socialism' or some kind of Totalitarianism. Recognizing the hypocrisy in your posts was never a strong point of yours, though.

"Its not xenophobia, the Swiss are really doing the same as most Muslim countries."

So then are the Muslim countries right, or wrong, if as you claim they are doing the same? And if the Muslim countries are wrong, do you not agree that Switzerland is wrong, too? Can't have it both ways, my friend.

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realist: "Muslim countries persecute Christians within their borders, and in some extreme cases kill or attack them. Islam is not a tolerant religion..."

Again, it's amusing to watch you guys defend what Switzerland is doing by saying the Islam countries do the same thing (when it's clear you are against what said nations are doing). Or do you believe that two wrongs make a right?

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smith, prove to us that Islam is a tolerant religion.... The Swiss are keeping out the right wingers... Now, just imagine if you were able to do that to the US right wingers - wouldn't that make you happy? Christian right wing against the Islamic right wing, sooner or later, you are going to have to make a choice and at least most of the modern world has the Christians under control.

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besides smith, where is it saying Muslims can't enter? no where!

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According to the Times Online UK (American news sources, I am repeatedly told here, are hopelessly biased...) Switzerland's female voters played the crucial role in advancing this ban.

I'm going to sit back now and enjoy watching the moral relativists of the left and the anti-Christian bigots here grapple with this one:

A right-wing campaign to outlaw minarets on mosques in a referendum being held in Switzerland today has received an unlikely boost from

radical feminists

arguing that the tower-like structures are “male power symbols” and reminders of Islam’s oppression of women.

A “stop the minarets” campaign has provoked ferment in the land of Heidi, where women are more likely than men to vote for the ban after warnings from

prominent feminists

that Islam threatens their rights.

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“It’s a sad day for freedom of religion,” said Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a British youth organization. “A constitutional amendment that’s targeted towards one religious community is discriminatory and abhorrent.”

I tend to agree with Mr Shafiq. I wonder what he would say about various articles of the Saudi Arabian constitution which forcibly impose Islam on Saudi citizens? I would say that the Saudi Arabian constitution is also "discriminatory and abhorrent". I wonder if Mr Shafiq, or any of the other Muslim organisations moaning about the Swiss, would agree?

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Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets on Sunday

that said it all already.

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I wonder if Germany and Austria will look at offering voters a similar referendum.

Too late for UK, France and Holland.

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Too late for UK, France and Holland." Oh no, too late for Germany too!

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Scrote:

" I would say that the Saudi Arabian constitution is also "discriminatory and abhorrent". I wonder if Mr Shafiq, or any of the other Muslim organisations moaning about the Swiss, would agree? "

You don´t even have to choose Saudi Arabia, which is the ultimate Shariah society. Non-muslims are discriminated against even in the so-called "moderate" islamic societies like Turkey, which wants to become a EU member. While it allows churches to exist, it puts severe restrictions on their upkeep, not to mention new construction. Building a sparkling new gigantic church with steeple that rises over the neighbourhood would be out of the question.

And yes, you are right: Mr Shafiq has nothing to say about that, and alas nobody is asking him.

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I agree with SmithinJapan. Intolerance is not the answer to tolerance. Two possible answers:

Prohibit inflows of funds from foreign religious organizizations (all of them, not just Muslim ones). This is probably unenforcable.

Make public education mandatory, like they do in Japan. No religious schools. The danger is not imported minerets. The danger is imported ideas that roll back the Englightenment.

In short, the answer is more Enlightenment, not less.

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A democracy is not a tyranny of the majority; a society where the majority is capable of oppressing and suppressing the minority is no longer a democracy.

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Foxie:

" a society where the majority is capable of oppressing and suppressing the minority is no longer a democracy. "

And that is why an islamic democracy is a contradiction in terms. The Sharia sharply distinguishes between muslims and non-muslims and severely restricts the rights of the latter.

How ironic then, then that islamic groups use Western law to advance their anti-democratic ideology in the West.

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A right-wing campaign to outlaw minarets on mosques in a referendum being held in Switzerland today has received an unlikely boost from

radical feminists

and

prominent feminists

that Islam threatens their rights.

Now that is funny.

Swiss women have the right to vote only since 1971 (nineteen seventy-one). Since 1988 there were already 4 female prime ministers or presidents in Muslim majority countries: Bangladesh (twice), Paksitan and Indonesia. http://www.terra.es/personal2/monolith/00women3.htm

Smithinjapan: excellent post

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Islamaphobia vs Islamania" hmm...

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either way you look at it, the left should be the last ones to support such religious matters. And I find it very un-left to support such a right wing group. So, it took the swiss right wing to iron out the matters the left should have been fighting from the first letter of the title of the article..

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Tigris:

" Since 1988 there were already 4 female prime ministers or presidents in Muslim majority countries: Bangladesh (twice), Paksitan and Indonesia. http://www.terra.es/personal2/monolith/00women3.htm "

....all of which are ex-wifes of a president or daughters of the founder.

And for your information: Indonesia is NOT a "muslim country". Look up Pancasila.

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majority in Switzerland worry in their own safety and future therefor it is reflexed on their vote. instate of the muslim feel any bad in their image, they as always blaming their bad reputation on the swiss.

no one can give islam and the Muslim bad image but only the muslime themselves.

if the Islam is not such a religion that call for the fight until the unbeliever (to Allah)feel themselves subdued. and if the muslim stand up for what right and wrong, stop protecting allah's lunatic rampaging the world today as we see right here right now. people wouldn't fear them. and fear wouldn't turn to hate.

they have done too little positive compare to its darker side.

keep blaming us, blaming every non-muslim for whatever bad you have done, it is not going to help.

people today fear of islam and now fear turn to hate, that is the fact. behave yourself, stop those treating us, we stop hate you.

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Sometimes I learn in these discussions. I wrote before that this was an issue of religious freedom. But that is not the whole story as I can see from the Z..above's post... I love the New England towns. The beautiful white churches. Switzerland is very similar with the beauty of the churches in the landscape. I would not want money to change the character of these towns, especially something so foreign as minarets. Zoning must be enforced. Perhaps we can understand the Saudis now. They may be right. Religious freedom? Yes. Having no concern for the dominate cultures sensitivities in the name of "My Rights" is arrogant and offensive and tramples on the dignity of the dominate culture. What about the minority? There are zoning procedures. Work through the process peacefully and with good will. As people get to know each other and work together, things will change in its own time. The immigrants should be thankful for the freedoms they have and the generosity they have already received from the dominate culture. Why create conflict with a people who have given so much? Demanding "My Rights", where it destroys the beauty of the dominate culture is not a nice way to repay the kindness...Maybe a compromise somewhere...make those things look like steeples might work.

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Separate ALL religion from government.

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.

..all of which are ex-wifes of a president or daughters of the founder.

WilliB highlights another reason Europe and the civilized world need to blunt the ideological wedge Islam always and everywhere attempts to drive into foreign political systems it encroaches upon - - its tribalism.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8385893.stm has a picture of an esthetic minarat with a church steeple in the background. Not bad. 'The Vatican on Monday endorsed a statement by the conference of Swiss Bishops criticising the vote for heightening "the problems of cohabitation between religions and cultures".' The Swiss are pragmatic. Things will work out over time... a give and take. Nothing easy in this world.

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As a swiss, I was able to vote in this case, I abstained from voting. In a way, with only 5% of muslim people living in Switzerland, it seemed to be overacted. But due to our christian tradition, it's always worth a discussion. The problem is, Switzerland has 25% foreigners living here (and some other % of becoming swiss recently) and not all of them want to accept the rules here. It's clear, that they have to assimilate with our rules, as it's clear, that if I live in another country, I'll assimilate myself to it. I want to live in Japan later and it's out of discussion that I'll assimilate 100%... About my abstining from voting: I wasn't sure, if it's discriminating or not, so I didn't vote in this case. But in the end, I think is a good decision, in every islamic country christians have to face a lot of problems, too. Hard-core islamist want to establish Islam worldwide with any possibility. It's really time to fight any trial of any religion to become a so called world-religion...

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williB: "And that is why an islamic democracy is a contradiction in terms. The Sharia sharply distinguishes between muslims and non-muslims and severely restricts the rights of the latter."

So this is your argument for what the Swiss are doing? How is this even related?

Again, I find it humorous to see people on here DEFENDING what the Swiss are doing by berating Muslims doing the same thing. I suggest a few people on here look up the words paradox and hypocrisy.

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skipthesong: "smith, prove to us that Islam is a tolerant religion.... "

The article is about what the Swiss are doing, not if Islam is a tolerant religion. Glad to see you cannot debate the article or my points, but fall into the group that I mentioned above at least twice: you defend what the Swiss are doing by pointing out where it's wrong elsewhere. Bizarre logic, to put it euphemistically.

"besides smith, where is it saying Muslims can't enter? no where!"

It's saying Muslims can't build buildings solely because they are Muslims. That's called discrimination. But perhaps you can answer my question, which I posed to sarge, earlier: Is what the Swiss doing and the Muslims do in Islamic nations right, or are they both wrong? Or perhaps you can try and explain why what they are doing is okay but Muslims doing the exact same thing in other nations is wrong.

I can save you the trouble: bigotry, racism, xenophobia, hypocrisy, or plain old discrimination. I'll let you choose which you most adhere to.

Nessie has it right, let it all exist, or none. And by NONE I don't mean only religion, but the bigotry that these people claim to be fighting against. Pull down the church spires and any government roofs that surpass a certain height or are a certain shape. Or, be MORE tolerant and allow people to building structures the way they see fit. Understanding would go a lot further than what's happening here -- and YES, for those who are going to refuse to address the article and talk about Islamic nations, I would like to see that happen there, too. We're not seeing ANY nations move forward here, only Switzerland taking a MASSIVE step back... which is what this is all about.

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A lot of people calling the Swiss racists on this topic, I couldn't disagree more. I've done business with a couple Switzerland nationals and I honestly think this has more to do with them maintaining the quintessential 'Swiss' appearance. Having a huge minaret dominating the skyline is comparable to somebody cementing a 60 foot I-beam into your yard. To them it detracts from the scenery and is, for lack of a better term, a blemish in their picturesque towns. They are just particular that way.

From what I've heard every town has a set of bylaws similar to condominium association bylaws that have certain, and sometimes ridgid, requirements for exterior home care and maintenance. I'm really not surprised that they would institute a ban on massive foreign structures.

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"Muslims"

Many Muslims have caused untold grief for millions of people.

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The democracy in Switzerland is based on population votes. Population vote pro or contra, and these decision have to be respected, if we like them or don’t

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It's just muslims following their terrorist prophet, mohammud. Good on the Swiss for preventing a hostile takeover...

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Popular vote must be respected.

Muslims have quite some problems to address. Usually one does not see so-called moderate Muslims take any sort of real action to let's say disown radical Muslims. Sad as it is, Muslims foster a feeling of insecurity and perplexity. How to approach Muslims as a group? Muslim countries are intolerant of other religions and they in turn ask to be allowed to make inroads in "infidel" countries; Muslim communities that then repeat certain patterns: genital mutilation, body veil, forced marriages including sending daughters back to their country for a forced marriage for fears she has become "Westernized." Discrimination against women and intolerance for Western females to the point that Western females may be required to wear veils "to fit in" in Muslim-dominated places.

A balance must be found, for peace. Tolerance has to be a two-way road; Muslims have to open their fist and give, too. In the meantime I can understand why the Swiss voted this way.

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The democracy in Switzerland is based on population votes" Popular vote must be respected." Muslims have quite some problems to address." Muslims have quite some problems to address."

So nice to know sanity exists!

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That's the irony with any group. Quick to condemn a genuine wrong against their own, quick to overlook terrorism committed by their brother and in their name. And I'm not talking about just the Muslims. That said, the irony here is laughable considering in many Muslim countries the penalty for quitting the religion is literally death. But go ahead and demand one directional religious freedom.

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From now on Switzerland has become a little less beautiful and little less civilized... sorry swiss friends

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Good on you Switzerland.

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PC has not become part of the Swiss reality. They don't want it, and they say so. I applaud it.

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Nessie has it right, let it all exist, or none. And by NONE I don't mean only religion, but the bigotry that these people claim to be fighting against. Pull down the church spires and any government roofs that surpass a certain height or are a certain shape. Or, be MORE tolerant and allow people to building structures the way they see fit.

I think we generally agree, and your posts on this thread have been thoughtful. (Coincidence? Heh.) But I'm also arguing for assimiliation. I agree with the more nativist posters, including the Swiss posting here, that there are dangers of a country being overrun by unassimiliated immigrants.

Where I differ is in how. Pulling down minarets is not how you do it. You do it by reaffirming the fruits of the Enlightenment, fruits that are contrary to anti-minarettism.

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...there shall, in that time, be rumors of things going astray, errrm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things wi - with the sort of raffia work base that has an attachment. At this time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight o'clock. Yea, it is written in the Book of Cyril that...

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Yesterday I wondered if other European nations might follow suit.

Today I read (RadioFreeEurope) that populist parties in Denmark and Holland would like to see similar referendums.

check http://www.rferl.org/content/Danish_Dutch_Populist_Parties_Want_Referendum_On_Minaret_Ban/1891427.html

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Frankly I can't see why Kouchner got on his high horse over this either.

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What's the difference between the Muslim world and the Western world - about 800 years.

Islamic democracy doesn't have to be an oxymoron, in fact, if it doesn't become a reality there are going to be more terrorism and wars. The extremists teach an idea, you have to fight ideas with better ideas. That's why it is very important that we see what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan through. Yes, Afghanistan is fragmented into tribal domains like little kingdoms, as was Europe once upon a time. Yes, the religious leaders use fear and intimidation to keep the population in line, as did the church in Europe once upon a time. Everything negative that you can say about the Muslim religion was once true about the Christian religion. They even have their own schism to justify killing each other.

How do you bring about change in the region? By improving the life for the common man, by showing them that non-Muslims and Muslims can interact to the betterment of both. The public works projects (that you never seem to see in the news) being carried out in these countries by the US and its allies are going to be the lasting legacy. A framework of democracy with a better economic and environmetal infrastructure resulting in better quality of life will combat the Taliban better than any weapon in our arsenal. We see ourselves as having a superior quality of life, a superior political system, and a superior attitude. The third world doesn't see the average American or European, they just see corporations, and their own corrupt governments, that they know are out to exploit them. And they're right. Some international corporations now practice ethical and socially responsible policies in the countries that they operate in, but a lot don't. Yes, in 2009, we in the West are now enlightened, but we have a long history of being just the opposite.

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Sarge at 11:25 PM JST - 30th November "Muslims" Many Muslims have caused untold grief for millions of people.

Swing batter, batter, batter.....Sarge every religion has caused grief throughout the world. If only religion and politics could stop playing together. But, that is not the issue at hand....

With that, the Swiss people have voted and have passed a law banning minarets.

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"I fear something has radicalized ordinary Swiss people. I wonder what it could be."

Maybe they saw all the trouble France and England are going through

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perspective:

" Islamic democracy doesn't have to be an oxymoron, "

Oh yes, it has to be. Because when you believe that people making their own laws is blasphemy, because god already laid down the law for all people on earth 1400 years ago, then you can not possibly justify a democracy. Check any islamic website to confirm.

In the event, if all this brouhaha about banning minarets (the towering symbols of islamic supremacy) in Switzerland leads to international interest about the rights of non-muslims in islamic countries, then it is much welcome.

So far, that has not happened. The West if falling over itself to be "tolerant", while nobody is asking the islamic countries to reciprocate.

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Ah hell! I should have just said "this is not about other countries!"

Anyway, if the majority rules, and the majority decides to bring back slavery, does that make it ok? Who here is going to lay down and say "Well, majority rules! What can you do?" This is telling people they cannot build on their own land because some people down the street do not like it and even some people in the next town. Bogus.

And this just in: Bell towers are still A-ok!

If you cannot be consistent with rights and priviledges, then you might be a xenophobe.

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banned!

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I can't agree to banning one religion's buildings while the others are still standing. Perhaps the Swiss should have banned amplified "calls to prayer" as a disturbance of the peace. But they've done what they've done and what it seems to say is that the fear of the violence and culture associated with Islam is unacceptable to the Swiss and they won't allow the symbols of such a repugnant culture to be displayed.

This isn't all that different than the banning of Nazi symbols in Germany, really. Just that a mosque is involved in religion, not politics.

But a snub at a culture that treats women as chattel and violently represses them, that condemns dissidents within the "faith" to death, etc., etc. is reasonable. There is no place for the "wahabi" version of Islam in modern society.

One could argue that the "modern Muslims" don't act that way. True. But the problem is that they don't condemn the behaviour of the radicals at every turn either. There is no schism in Islam. The teachings aren't challenged, they are just ignored. Silence become acquescence.

Unless western women want to start behaving like muslim women and we want all of society to become a backward joke this is one kulturekampf that has to be won by the west. The Danes fired the first shot with the cartoons of mohammud. The French are fighting back too. Nice to see that the Swiss have joined the cause. Reject islam and it's culture of repression. Or lose your freedom. It's that simple.

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The rise of anti-islamic thinking is quite distrurbing in the UK. I find it quite worrying that it's all the unemployed WASP's that are jumping on the anti-islamic band-wagon, not unlike the Weimer Republic in Germany. Speak to any of these WASP's and you know, I'd rather have a hard working Islamic family living next to me, than some of this pond scum hooked up on blame culture fantasies. It's time for the Antifa movement to get active again, we're in a whole lot of trouble and we're blaming the wrong people for the world's woes..

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Is this Swiss decision any different than when that Italian culture centre or wahtever it was was told to change the red colour becasue it didnt mix with the typical black/grey of Tokyo........

Lots of places have building restrictions, cant say as I blame the Swiss for trying to preserve the look of the land, as far as I know they werent closing places or worship.

And while I enjoy a mix of peoples/neighbourhoods it is getting harder to take muslims on these issues because its mostly take take, make way for our ways, but these same people dont criticize when muslims or muslim countries do wrong, muslims wud be wise to go for a more give & take instead of just the later if they WANT to integrate, not so sure many do & that vibe is being felt imo.

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The Swiss have voted. Democracy in action - beautiful! On the other hand, there are any number of muslim-run nations where there is no religious freedom at all.

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Hats off to the Swiss. Good on them!!!!

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I wonder to what level anti-muslim sentiment will escalate in Europe?

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In the UK we've used the Irish, Jews, Blacks, Indians, as scapegoats and now it's all, surprise, surprise, Islam's fault.

I would urge anyone who falls into any of those heritage groups to think again before being anti-islamic. Not so long ago, it was you who was in the firing line, be it being systematic destroyed or being asked to sit at the back of the bus..

Stop being sheep people!

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The Swiss people voted rightly. Mr. Shafiq is just one of many ambivalent voices of this religion. there are also murderers and killers. Muslims truly use Western laws and institutions to promote their intolerance and always cry and shout themselves hoarse whenever things don't go their way. Why Mr Shafiq, is there freedom of religion in Turkey, or any Muslim country? Can you stand the sight of a Church spire with the Cross? dont forget the pealing bells, which I'll take anytime to noisy loudspeakers.

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I guess Europe has a Texas of its own, and smack in the middle of it.

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Smithinjapan: [It's saying Muslims can't build buildings solely because they are Muslims. That's called discrimination. But perhaps you can answer my question, which I posed to sarge, earlier: Is what the Swiss doing and the Muslims do in Islamic nations right, or are they both wrong? Or perhaps you can try and explain why what they are doing is okay but Muslims doing the exact same thing in other nations is wrong. I can save you the trouble: bigotry, racism, xenophobia, hypocrisy, or plain old discrimination. I'll let you choose which you most adhere to. ]

RichardSmithinHirakataJapan again the defender of the weak weak muslims. Arguing for the adrenalin rush of telling others off online about how intolerant they are with his own intolerance of their opinions. You can almost wipe the saliva off your face after reading one of his posts. I think it's ok for the Swiss to limit what should be built in their own back yards. Let's call it an eye for an eye. After all we wouldn't want Swiss people to start suicide bombing these holy houses would we? Can you answer the question of why richardsmithinhirakatajapan is so adamantly defending muslims everywhere? Let me save you the trouble: He loves to put people in their place online because his ego grows each time he has a self declared victory in any arguement!! Hahahahaha.

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I wonder to what level anti-muslim sentiment will escalate in Europe?

Who knows, but part of it will depend on the actions/in-actions of muslims in Europe as well as everyone else in Europe, time will tell

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Backers said the growing Muslim population was straining the country “because Muslims don’t just practice religion.”

“The minaret is a sign of political power and demand, comparable with whole-body covering by the burqa, tolerance of forced marriage and genital mutilation of girls,” the sponsors said. They said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared mosques to Islam’s military barracks and called “the minarets our bayonets.” Erdogan made the comment in citing an Islamic poem many years before he became prime minister.

Reason enough, and points well taken.

Instead of perpetually crying foul, Muslims should really start asking themselves why the West is reacting this way, because the reasons are pretty obvious.

This is a very scary portent, though, and perhaps something that may trigger something big.

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