On Sunday, the referendum carried out by the anti-Islam White racist Swiss People’s Party (SVP) – won 57.5 percent of “Yes” vote among the 2.67 million Swiss who participated in the referendum. 42.5% of the participants said “No” to Swiss People’s Party’s Islamophobic slogan that “minarets are symbols of rising Muslim political power that could one day transform Switzerland into an Islamic nation”.
The seven-member cabinet which heads the government has issued a statement, stating: “Muslims in Switzerland are able to practice their religion alone or in community with others and live according to their belief as before”. However, it added that it will impose an immediate ban on minarets as part of any future mosque construction.
Amnesty International has blasted the vote as violation of freedom of religion and expected that the ban would be overturned by the Swiss Supreme Court or the European Court of Human Rights.
Now some readers might not understand why Swiss People’s Party is so itchy of the Muslim minority? Well, the arrest and jailing of Swiss journalist Frank Brunner in Geneva on March 5, 2009 could shed some light. Frank Brunner accused of anti-Semitism by the Swiss Jewish Lobby (CICAD) for his criticism of Israel’s Nazi tactics against Gaza people during the 23-day war.
In April 2008, Israel, the US, and SVP condemned the visit of Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey to Islamic Iran.
In April 2009 – American Jewish Congress criticized Swiss president Hans Rudolf Merz for shaking hand with Iranian president Dr. Ahmadinejad during the UN Conference on Racism. It’s interesting to note that AJC initially opposed the creation of the Zionist entity in 1948.
Alfred Donath, president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (FSCI) told European Jewish Press (EJP) on Monday: “This party (SVP) has shown towards Israel a position which is the closet to ours. Not because they love Israel, but because they believe that Israel and Middle East are not Switzerland’s business. On the other hand, two members of Green MPs returning from a trip to Iran said that they do not believe Tehran has any intention to use the atomic arm….”
The minaret debate gave Zionist Jews a golden opportunity to vent their hatred of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who sentenced by the military junja in 1998 for reciting the poem: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets, and the faithful our soldiers….”
Muslims comprise 6 percent of Switzerland’s 7.5 million population. Many of them are the survivals of the 1990s Serb-Croat ethnic-cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia and former Yugoslavia. According to the government sources – only one out ten Muslims actively practice their religion. Jewish communities comprise only 0.25 percent of Swiss population.
Now compare this action of the so-called ‘civilized and democratic world’ with the religious tolerance which exists in most parts of the Muslim world. There is no restriction on building new churches in the Muslim world with Christian or Jewish minorities – such as in Indonesia, the most populated Muslim country (13 million Christians out total population of 212 million), Pakistan, Egypt, Islamic Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, UAE, Kuwait, etc. The church bells ring every Sunday and Christmas is an official holiday. Most Muslim countries have Sunday as weekly holiday. Christians have held several top positions in both military and government in Indonesia, Pakistan, Iraq (Saddam Hussein had six Christian cabinet ministers including Vice President Tariq Aziz), Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Tanzania, and Nigeria.
The minaret is not a Cross or Holocust. It has no so-called ‘divine value’ as the other two. It was made part of the prayer house (mosque) as a functional object - for making call for the prayer at a higher level so that it could reach more faithfuls. With the invention of loudspeaker, minarets have lost their original purpose except in the small towns and villages where electricity has not reached so far. Islam, like in other aspects of human life, requires simple and modest place for prayers. The mosques are not required to be expensive but scary structures like Synagogues, churches or temples. People have never been attracted to Islam for some tall minarets or huge mosques. They converted to Islam for its simple teachings and human-brotherhood. So personally, I will give hoot to all those Islamophobes who wish to contain Islam by banning minarets and Hijab. Islam is not in minarets or Hijab – but it’s minaret and Hijab which in addition to many other things, are in Islam.
“Islam is not a fashion. It can wait,” Dr. Murad Wilfried Hofmann, German diplomat and former Director of Information for NATO at Brussels (1983-87).