Please note: the author is not The Lovely Trixy
Minarets and direct democracy
Since last Sunday it seems that Switzerland has become a country with an intolerant population, a place where the freedom of religion doesn’t count anymore. I’d like to give a reflection about this issue. What happened? The Swiss decided about an initiative, launched by the Swiss People’s Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei, SVP) and other small parties and organizations, for banning the construction of minarets in Switzerland. 57% of the Swiss citizens said yes to this initiative in a referendum.
What was the case history leading to this initiative? In four different towns in Switzerland there exist minarets. Those exist since the 1960s. Since 2006 there have been applications by many Muslims all over Switzerland to build new minarets. The residents of the affected towns in Switzerland argued and protested against the construction of these new buildings. That’s why a national committee launched this initiative and collected more than 100000 signatures for it: they wanted a clear and consistent rule for or against the construction of minarets in the whole country.
The minaret is not part of the religious practice of Islam. The minaret is a sign of power, rulership and conquest, which is also confirmed by experts on the Islamic culture and religion. The minaret is a symbol of a political Islam and shows its dominance in a country. In 1997, the mayor of Istanbul and today’s Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, compared minarets with bayonets.
That’s the reason why a committee started a campaign against these buildings. The minaret is only the first step of further demands. Soon afterwards they claim the Muezzin, the introducing of the Sharia law and the acceptance of those rules. We could see these developments in other countries and cities, where the beginning was similar. And now, in the suburbs of Berlin or Paris, a parallel society has established and the Sharia is the only law which counts.
And even in Switzerland we have problems with some muslim families. I am talking about girls who are not allowed to go in swimming lessons and I am talking about forced marriages. Our politicians didn’t want resolve these wrongs. I don’t know why, maybe because of Political Correctness, who knows. But now, after the referendum, we can talk about these problems. We can talk about what kind of Islam we want in Switzerland and which parts of it are incompatible to our laws and orders.
Please let me say: This initiative was and is not against religious freedom. Muslim people are allowed – as well as Christians, Jews, Hindi and all others – to practise their religion freely at home and in their mosques. But the minaret is not necessary for the Muslim people to pray. It is important to understand that this initiative was never against the Islamic religion. But in a Christian country it is not acceptable that other religions show signs of power or conquest. That would be a negation of the Christian roots and the origin of the Swiss culture.
The initiative was supported by the Swiss People’s Party which represents the conservative-libertarian wing of the Swiss Parliament. But also feminist groups and the society of ex-muslims advised a yes. All other parties and the Swiss Federal Council – the executive of Switzerland – did not support the initiative. According to this fact, the clear result of almost 60% of yes-votes in this referendum is obvious. It represents the great majority of the Swiss voters and their will.
After the referendum, I was really shocked and upset about the reaction of the political elite and the press in foreign countries. “Switzerland is intolerant, Switzerland breaks human rights laws, Switzerland has to vote again about this initiative.” What the hell is that? The initiative was launched by a committee which has collected more than 100’000 signatures for it. There was a debate in the Swiss Parliament and there were a lot of town hall meetings, talks and adversary podiums to inform the people during the referendum campaign. The discussions were factual. And now, a majority of 57% said yes to this initiative. To say that this initiative breaks human rights laws or restricts the freedom of religion, that’s not true. The minaret is not necessary for praying and there are a lot of mosques – even in Islamic countries – which has no minaret.
It is a shame, that foreign countries criticise the democratic vote of the Swiss people. I think that politicians from France, the UK or Germany should resolve their problems firstly. In Britain there are Islamic fanatics who are shouting “Freedom go to hell” and “Sharia is the answer”. In Holland, a stage director was killed because he produced a islam-critical movie. In Denmark, cartoons “provocated” massive and violent riots. Before those politicians say, that the freedom of religion is menaced in Switzerland, they should wonder if the freedom of speech is still in force in their own country. And a revision is no option. The Swiss will not act like the Irish: To vote until the political elite is satisfied.
The people don’t want minarets; they don’t want a political Islam. And not only Swiss think so. Just read the messages on Times online, Spiegel online (Germany) or Krone Zeitung (Austria). Most people also want to have a referendum about those issues. It shows me that the politicians – and the press too – are really far away from the will of the people.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Please note: the author is not The Lovely Trixy