Switzerland: Canton rejects minaret ban

Switzerland: Canton rejects minaret ban

Building minarets in the Tincino canton is not prohibited.  The local parliament rejected a proposal to that effect by the Ticino League and the SVP by 55 to 22 votes Monday night.

A minaret-ban would be an unnecessary torment for Muslims and would impede their integration , argued the opponents of the parliamentary initiative.  After a four hour debate, the SP, CVP, Greens, and members of the FDP voted against.

The League and the SVP, however, hold the view, that minarets are not religious symbols, but signs of political power-claim.  A cantonal building ban was curbed.

The FDP didn't even want to deal with the issue.  It is more sensible to first see the outcome of the Swiss national referendum, argued the biggest party in the parliament.  The FDP proposal for postponement was defeated though, also by 55 to 22 votes.

On the national level, the anti-minaret initiative is currently pending by the national parliament.  It is expected to deliberate on this issue March 4th.  The Federal Council recommended that the parliament reject the initiative without making a counter-proposal.

According to the government's point of view the initiate launched by the SVP and EDU imperiled religious freedom as well as Switzerland's reputation.  Legal experts also suspect a violation of international law and doubt the validity of the initiative.

Source: NZZ (German), h/t PI

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

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