Switzerland: Minarets in manger, schools respect Muslims

Switzerland: Minarets in manger, schools respect Muslims

In the church in Bellinzona (Ticino), the traditional nativity crib with the Child Jesus, is surrounded by minarets [pictures here].  The unusual scene is supposed to make people reflect about brotherhood and human rights, after 57% of the Swiss (and 68% in Ticino) recently voted against minarets on mosques.  On the crib are verses from the Bible and the Koran on the topic of water.


The education department in the canton of Zurich adopted new guidelines which take the religious feelings of children of other faiths into account.  Activities and songs with religious content, for example those that refer to Jesus as the Son of God, are not allowed.  In Islam, Jesus is a prophet but not the Son of God.

Director of Education Regine Aeppli (SP) says this doesn't mean schools should celebrate Christmas without Jesus, and that this shows that they respect the constitutional freedom of religion.  The guidelines were adopted years ago.  According to Aeppli there were never any problems with it.

Songs which deal with Jesus and therefore affect the religious freedom of non-Christian children: Alle Jahre wieder (Every Year Again), Der Heiland ist geboren (Christ is Born), Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming), Ihr Kinderlein kommet (Come ye little children), and Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent Night).  Songs without Jesus are less controversial, for example: O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) and "Zimetschtern han i gern" by Andrew Bond.

Sources: Tages-Anzeiger (German), AD (Dutch), h/t NRP

See also: Italy: Mosques in nativity scenes

No comments: