Switzerland: The minaret ban vote

A month ago supporters of the minaret ban announced they have the necessary votes to go to a referendum and so I'm not sure why it's in the news again.  In any case, SwissInfo has a video segment about the recent developments as well as an interview with Zurich imam Sakib Halilovic.


The cabinet has come out against the controversial people's initiative which was launched by members of the rightwing Swiss People's Party and an ultra conservative party, the Federal Democratic Union, last year.

Islamic countries as well as the United Nations expert on racism raised concern over the initiative.

Jasmin Hutter, a People's Party parliamentarian said in Bern on Tuesday that minarets are not religious symbols but rather a claim to political dominance. She also said they represented oppression toward women.

Her party colleague, Walter Wobmann said a ban did not violate the freedom of religion, recalling that thousands of mosques without minarets already exist.

Underlying the initiative is the persuasion to counter "creeping Islamisation", according to parliamentarian Dominique Baettig. He argues the one-billion-strong religion is intolerant toward women and homosexuals and incongruent with Swiss values.

However, in a statement Swiss President Pascal Couchepin said the government would recommend citizens to reject the initiative when it comes to a vote in the next few years.


See also: Switzerland: Anti-minaret petition to go to national referendum, Switzerland: Move for vote on minarets

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