‘In Switzerland, we feel more that this minaret ban is a symbol that we are a well-run direct democracy. It also allows us to keep the presence of our cultural identity. However, I fear that Islamic nations may react wrongly to this,’ so says Charles-Alexander from Switzerland. And he’s one of thousands of you, who’ve got in touch about this ban. What’s your reaction?
TM in Geneva says: I am a Muslim and I am a Swiss. Until today I was proud to be Swiss. I had great faith that Swiss people would overthrow this ridiculous initiative.It is wrong to judge Islam and Muslims by the actions of extremists.
WE’VE NOTICED THESE ARE PARTICULAR ISSUES YOU’RE DEBATING ALREADY:
- What does this result show? That Switzerland, and more broadly Europe is protecting it’s culture and way of life? Or is this a case of religious intolerance and lack of understanding of Islam?
- Have the Swiss done what the rest of Europe would like to be able to do?
- Does Europe have a problem with Islamophobia?
- Is ‘defending’ one’s culture necessarily discriminatory?
- Can such decisions be attributed to a post 9-11 fear of Islam?
- Is this a justified reaction to Muslims’ perceived unwillingness to integrate in Western societies?
MORE FROM SHEETAL
The Swiss referendum on banning minarets has surprised many after it was expected only 34% of the Swiss people would support it. But after the vote at the weekend, nearly 60% voted in favour, and the Swiss government has expressed dismay that they weren’t able to inform Swiss citizens to reject the ban. Switzerland’s Justice Minister said the vote was a reflection of the fear of losing Swiss culture and the uncertainties around Islamic fundamentalism.
The vote has got Muslims around the world asking if this is a clear indication of intolerance against Islam. Professor Tariq Ramadan , a Swiss citizen, believes there is a “narrow-minded lack of trust in Muslims” that has fuelled this ‘populist’ vote.
The question remains – In a country where only four minarets exist, what did this ban hope to achieve? This blog has varied answers. And this one says the campaign leading up to the referendum was racist and the rhetoric offensive.