Sunday, November 29, 2009

Swiss Ban on Minarets

Swiss Vote to Ban New Minarets

This story is largely just another illustration of the ways in which unease about the growth of Islam within Europe is affecting the political debate over there, and the degree to which far-right parties might be able to harness such unease for electoral gain.

It's worth noting, however, that the vast majority of Swiss Muslims are Europeans--Bosniaks, Albanians, and Turks. And many of them fled to Switzerland from the former Yugoslavia during the war, as refugees. How bitterly ironic that they fled from tormentors who were determined to rid that part of Europe of its Islamic past and culture, and who destroyed hundreds of mosques and minarets as part of that campaign of cultural annihilation. And now, these European Muslims are being implicitly told yet again that they are not truly part of Europe.

It is disturbing that the largely secular and non-militant Muslim minority in what has always been known as a religiously tolerant democracy could be the target of such discriminatory actions.

Perhaps Karadzic, Plavsic, Cosic, and the others were right--maybe there is no room in Europe for Muslims. Even those Muslims who have been European all along.


would-be said...

It's a shame but sadly it's a fact of mainstream European thinking.
I lived in Ljubljana, Slovenia for 3 years and the situation there was very similar. Not a single mosque in the country, the government held a referendum to decide whether or not one should be built. The Slovene people voted against, and the country's Muslims (nearly all of whom were Bosniak as well as some Albanians) were forced to continue using places such as sports halls for their gatherings at Ramadan, etc...
And as you so rightly point out in this post, these particular Muslims are largely secular, non-Militant and definitely European. They're not preaching hatred, they're not flying in Imams from Saudi Arabia to give them a message that doesn't relate to their surroundings, and they're not trying to force their religion onto anybody.
It's truly a shame.

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope and trust, they were not right, but I don't understand why Europe seems so intent on completely overlooking BiH. The Danish People's Party, a very xenophobic and, sadly, powerful party, has already congratulated Switzerland and proposed that Denmark also forbids minarets. Once a member of the DPP even said that "Muslims should be repatriated from Europe"..?!? That's how intelligent they are.

sarah correia said...

Kirk, you go straight to the point in this post.

History Punk said...

Personally, I think the Swiss did this in part because it is safe and cost free. They're well aware of the protection that NATO and the United States provides and will provide for them.

Plus, how likely is that corrupt Islamic world dictators are going to boycott Swiss banks and take their ill-gotten loot elsewhere? Not a chance. Ambassadors will bitch and then be recalled, a few TV friendly protests will be conducted, and then, with a finale of strenuous hand wringing, they'll forget all about it.