4 thoughts on “Religious Freedom Denied in Switzerland

  1. Well………….

    I was against this one too when I first read about it a few weeks ago… but, now, I do understand why Swiss communities do not want Arabic calls to prayer chanted loudly over homes (many of which will be non-Muslim), even several times a day. Church bells are one thing, but broadcast prayers may very well be quite another.

  2. My 2 ¢ worth.
    This is a cultural issue. It happens that the particular culture also happens to adhere to a particular faith. The minaret is not so much a symbol of faith, something that western Europe has left behind, as a symbol of a different culture. Imagine if Catholic churches were prohibited from adding bell towers in the bible belt because most Catholics happen to be Latin. An imperfect analogy but it might go part of the way to understanding Europe’s relationship with Islam. The declining population of Europe (life and fertility issues) makes it necessary to invite in workers from north Africa. The Muslim minorities make Europeans fearful (among other reasons) of offering greater support to the USA in the war on terror.

  3. I’ll throw my two cents in as well.

    I agree that the Swiss decision to ban minarets is an affront to religious freedom.

    But how is putting the minarets up to a popular vote any different from putting gay marriage up to a popular vote in 31 states? I disagree with gay marriage and would vote against it, and I think the popular vote is a good way of showing where the battle lines are.

    But isn’t voting on gay marriage also putting the minority’s “rights” up for a popular vote?

    What’s the difference? Is it a moral/ethical (gay marriage) vs strictly religious (minarets) issue? Is it a cultural issue?

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