Swiss Voters Appear to Pass Minaret Ban

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mkrishnan, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #1
    This has been much in the news here at least in the past few days...

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6936802.ece

    At least here I was under the impression the ban was highly likely to fail at the poll... surprising, although it does seem fairly close. Interestingly there are only four minarets in Switzerland now, and I understand there were not particularly plans to build many more.
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #2
    The Swiss can be pretty conservative on matters like this - women only got the vote in 1971 :eek:.

    To be honest it sounds like the people who didn't want them banned didn't bother to turn up to vote :(.
     
  3. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Precisely, although they are saying there was 55% voter turnout which seems to be pretty average to high for the country.
     
  4. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #4
    I think also interesting is the prominent opposition of Swiss industry and business against the ban, and the public's apparent lack of interest in their arguments. Our perception of the Swiss is also that they are conservative, but that they are pragmatic businesspeople above all.

    This move has already been compared embarrassingly to that Danish cartoon, justifying the fears of Swiss business interests....
     
  5. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #5
    A ban on all religious buildings would be better. :D
     
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #6
    Probably the Swiss are as disillusioned with their business community, banks and government as we appear to be these days.

    The muslim countries that are likely to be outraged by this are likely to only use Switzerland for banking anyway. To be honest I doubt it'll make a difference to Malaysian/Indonesian/Indian business interests.
     
  7. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #7
    That's quite fair (although there are minarets and calls to prayer in India). If the US ever ends its numerous wars and gets back to traditional American sentiment, though, we scarcely look fondly on this kind of intolerance, and all commentary to the contrary, are still at least somewhat relevant to the global economy. :p
     
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    A perfect example of outstandingly effective visual propaganda:


    [​IMG]




    Scary stuff.
     
  9. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #9
    At the right hand of the devil is a good graphic designer. :(
     
  10. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #10
    Finally, the war against architectural features has begun! Next on the block: those damned flying buttresses. And don't get too comfortable, cable-stayed bridges. I've got my eye on you.
     
  11. IntheNet macrumors regular

    IntheNet

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    #11
    Hard to understand the Swiss - why they take exception to onion-shaped or conical crowns on mosques, yet allow the real subjection of women through mandatory face coverings or hijab; something the world is united against? In purely Muslim nations these face coverings or hijab are accepted but I see them creeping into non-Muslim nations and the Swiss manage to express their rage by objecting to architectural features?
     
  12. Queso macrumors G4

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    #12
    So if minarets are deemed an expression of Islamic domination when are they tearing down the steeples and campaniles from their churches?
     
  13. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #13
    If it isn't geodesic, it's offensive, and I won't stand for it. Right angles are an abomination!
     
  14. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I'm not seeing how 'freedom of religion' equates to 'freedom to employ Arab architecture which contravenes local council building heritage regulations'.

    Unless the religion is Minaret Constructionism. Or Minaretism.

    So these guys (govt, business and church) are saying that their constitution guarantees me the freedom to build massive Mayan Pyramids in all their little Swiss towns and villages if I so believe?
     
  15. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    #15
    In the realm of the entire country, this has less to do with differences in religion than it does xenophobia in general. With immigration rates so high, there has been an extremely strong sentiment against foreigners here in recent decades. Swiss society is not overly religious but it does practice a strong sense of traditionalism, and Islam is not a part of the old order. Now of course in the high Alpine cantons, I'm sure that there is some fear of the religion seeing as some (at least AI) took over 70% in favor of the ban, but the larger fear is definitely one against conforming to outside influences. Some expressed views from the EDA, such as interest in joining the EU, have pissed off a lot of people, so the referenda are mostly attempts of the citizenry to keep Switzerland the same as it has been for so long.

    If I recall correctly, there were a few ballot questions on cantonal and commune levels about ten or fifteen years ago that severely limited the height of steeples on contemporary style churches, and I believe that they passed with large margins. Granted, these probably wouldn't have been accepted in the canton of Geneva or anywhere else in Romandie for that matter, but it makes the point that it's not a hatred of the Islamic religion that influenced this vote the most.

    For the record, I voted against the ban. If it were asked on a ballot in my commune or possibly even the entire canton, I may have voted for it, but for the whole country it seems a bit over the top.
     
  16. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #16
    The German press has had a number of articles in the past couple of years on the poor reception that even German workers have gotten in Switzerland.

    I just wonder how long before Swiss exceptionalism catches up with global reality and what the end result will be.
     
  17. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #17
    There's a lot of concern in Switzerland (and in Europe) that muslim immigrants pose a threat to the traditional way of life that people in Switzerland have grown accustomed to over centuries. The immigrants bring different values and religion (even if the Swiss are not particularly religious) to a country that is very used to living on its own.

    I generally consider myself to be liberal/a social democrat, however I feel that Islam as it is currently practiced by many is incredibly intolerant and therefore deserves little tolerance in the West. While I do have reservations with Christianity as well, I feel that Europeans have for the most part found a comfortable balance in their values and expression that does not yet exist on the large scale in Islam. Religion, in my opinion, is best when it can be a part of private life but not be overly visible, imposed upon, or oppress people in a wider scope. American Christians and many muslims have some work to do in that area.

    For what it's worth as a Swiss citizen I got the absentee voting material for this referendum in the mail a while ago and accidentally threw it out, so I didn't vote.
     
  18. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

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  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #19
    Firstly I doubt this "many" covers more than around 10% of muslims in the West, and secondly at the very least the Malay's and Indonesians practice of Islam (and between them they are significant - Indonesia has the largest number of muslims in one country).
     
  20. scottness macrumors 65816

    scottness

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  21. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #21
    Why? The Swiss have voted (for whatever reason) against the right of muslim's freedom of religion. That's not right.

    Its similar to the votes against gay rights in the US.
     
  22. scottness macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    #22
    Majority rules, whether it's right or not.
     
  23. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #23
    Not when it comes to rights it doesn't.
     
  24. scottness macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    #24
    According to the law, I'm not sure it matters.
     
  25. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #25
    They aren't just an Arab building construction.

    Screen shot 2009-11-30 at 10.13.05.png

    Screen shot 2009-11-30 at 10.13.20.png

    And there's also the Malay national mosque:

    [​IMG]
     

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