November 29, 2009

The proposal to ban new minarets in Switzerland.

BBC reports:
Partial results from the poll which closed at 1100 GMT indicated that the German-speaking canton of Lucerne accepted the ban, while French-speaking cantons Geneva and Vaud voted against....
What is it about minarets specifically?
There are unofficial Muslim prayer rooms, and planning applications for new minarets are almost always refused.
The BBC could be clearer here. Is a Muslim place of worship "unofficial" if it lacks a minaret? Regulation of buildings can be neutral toward religion, and one can imagine a government regulation that happens to exclude the construction of minarets. But this is a case of targeting religion. (A ban like this in the United States would violate both the Free Exercise and the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.)
Supporters of a ban claim that allowing minarets would represent the growth of an ideology and a legal system - Sharia law - which are incompatible with Swiss democracy.
So it is not only discrimination against religion, it is a restriction of the sort of speech that is most valued in a democracy — criticism of the government. This argument, an attempt to excuse discrimination against religion, makes the ban worse, not better.
But others say...
One hardly needs to hear from the other side. The supporters make the argument against themselves.
... the referendum campaign has incited hatred. On Thursday the Geneva mosque was vandalised for the third time during the campaign....
The president of Zurich's Association of Muslim Organisations, Tamir Hadjipolu, told the BBC that if the ban was implemented, Switzerland's Muslim community would live in fear.

"This will cause major problems because during this campaign in the last two weeks different mosques were attacked, which we never experienced in 40 years in Switzerland.

"So with the campaign... the Islamaphobia has increased very intensively."
Now, this is the situation without the ban, so it's not obvious whether actually having the ban would make things worse or better. If the campaign for the ban is the problem, then Hadjipolu too is critical of free speech. Ironically, both the supporters and the opponents of the ban are afraid of free speech.

ADDED: Swiss feminists lead the fight against minarets, which they portray as "'male power symbols' and reminders of Islam’s oppression of women."

AND: Final results:
In a vote that displayed a widespread anxiety about Islam and undermined the country’s reputation for religious tolerance, the Swiss on Sunday overwhelmingly imposed a national ban on the construction of minarets, the prayer towers of mosques, in a referendum drawn up by the far right and opposed by the government.

The referendum, which passed with a clear majority of 57.5 percent of the voters and in 22 of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, was a victory for the right. The vote against was 42.5 percent. Because the ban gained a majority of votes and passed in a majority of the cantons, it will be added to the Constitution.


miller said...

I suggest the Swiss publish the Mohammed cartoons from the Danish newspaper.

That would be free speech.

KCFleming said...

"So it is not only discrimination against religion, it is a restriction of the sort of speech that is most valued in a democracy — criticism of the government."

Islamism is a political philosophy promoting a religion.
Sharia law, Islamism in practice, is anti-democracy.

Tolerating the institution of an undemocratic government (or the demand for same) is not undemocratic.

If otherwise, Revel is correct, and democracy sows the seeds for its own destruction, by refusing to defend itself against totalitarianism under the foolish and destructive notion that tolerance can exist without limits.

Anonymous said...

If minarets - the political symbols of Muslim dominance - had swastikas adorning them, there would be no problem banning them.

The Nazi's have merely stopped using swastikas and replaced that symbol with the symbol of a mosque with minarets.

Same philosophy ... switched symbol.

Muslims are merely Nazi's with better PR sensitivities.

traditionalguy said...

All talk about Free Speech would require an equal number of Christian Towers all over town permitted to chant the Apostles Creed 5 times a day on loudspwakers. Then the Muzzies would feel threatened. If only they do it to us, then they will force our surrender to their domination. Spoken words have more power than we like to admit.

former law student said...

It's just zoning and historic preservation, except in Switzerland. Minarets are a non-conforming use. Onion domes and steeples are time-honored; minarets are not. Plus the domes and steeples belong. Minarets are some weird eastern culty thing.

Just try, in this country, to build a house of worship, expand one, or even put one to another use. You'll find that zoning has you in a death grip.

Plus, Switzerland is the home of Calvin, whose followers ransacked Christian churches, destroying statues and sculpted reliefs. The "gargoyles" Althouse photographed would have had their faces chiseled off by Calvinists, in the 1500s, had they been part of a cathedral.

MnMark said...

This minaret situation kind of encapsulates the whole dilemma for the West. If we live up to our values of democracy and free speech, then if a fecund foreign people with a conquest mindset can get a toehold in one of our countries, they can reproduce themselves into control and take away our democracy and free speech. But anyone who points this out is accused by muslims and liberals of fomenting "hate".

I think the answer is that it only makes sense to have a policy of democracy and vigorous free speech in a homogenous country of people of the same racial/religious/cultural identity. Then it's an argument among "family members" and it makes sense that everyone be able to have their say and have a vote. But it makes no sense at all to allow outsiders who do not intend to meld into the family, but intend to conquer the family to be part of the discussions and voting.

That's why we can sense in our guts that the Swiss prohibition on minarets is coming from a place of basic common sense, even if technically it violates our sense of freedom of speech.

MnMark said...

Plus, Switzerland is the home of Calvin, whose followers ransacked Christian churches, destroying statues and sculpted reliefs.

Count on the liberal to always, always remind us that we are no better than anyone else, that no matter how rotten and threatening muslims are, there were some christians at some point in the past who did a rotten thing. Therefore, apparently, we have no right to preserve ourselves or our culture.


chickelit said...

I reject the premise that the Swiss* be held to American standards of freedom of speech and religion.

We are still a Shining City on a Hill.


*That goes for the French too.

Scott said...

"Just try, in this country, to build a house of worship, expand one, or even put one to another use. You'll find that zoning has you in a death grip."

That's true but a little disingenuous. Cities hate churches not because they don't like religious symbolism, but because it knocks the property off the property tax rolls.

What's more, a lot of cities don't have much of a problem with condemning a church under eminent domain when it can get away with it. Just Google "condemn church eminent domain" and you'll find quite a few.

vet66 said...

Calvinism and Islam have one important idea in common, namely that the infidels, apostates, and non-believers are eternally damned.

The Swiss, whose towns celebrate daily life with cathedral bells from the local church to the transportation nodes ringing in the passing of time, reconize the problems from unassimilated immigrants. For years I have been surprised at the number of north african immigrants setting up shanty towns along the railroad tracks in the big towns.

Unlike the U.S. Switzerland still believes and supports an armed militia. To their credit, denying the high ground, so to speak, to minarets is a strategy that sends a clear message to those who would hide behind their religious establishments to wreak havoc.

Fallujah anyone? The Swiss learned that lesson from us.

KCFleming said...

They're not speaking at all, they're threatening violence, and promising to create a fascist state.

Easy to tolerate from some pinhead in his basement who does nothing about it.

Troublesome to tolerate when he or his followers act on it.

Unconscionable to allow it to grow, and eventually overthrow, the very government that sheltered it, the democracy it will soon outlaw.

Are we so stupid to believe that our freedom of speech must tolerate those who would establish a regime where speech is no longer free?

If so, then we get what we deserve.

Titus said...

When reading this all I can think of is puppets.

Specifically, puppets from the Sound Of Music-they were kind of scary puppets.

Titus said...

The Swiss are a bunch of fags.

The name alone is faggy-Swiss.

All I can think of is Swiss Miss-that chick from the commercial. She was creepy.

Jason said...

Are Swiss Christians and Jews allowed to worship freely in Riyadh, Mecca and Medina?


Then this doesn't bother me, then.

Switzerland is simply signaling Muslim immigrants to keep going to France, where they are more welcome.

Good policy, I say.

former law student said...

there were some christians at some point in the past who did a rotten thing.

No, I'm trying to say that Swiss people have a history of religious intolerance

KCFleming said...

"No, I'm trying to say that Swiss people have a history of religious intolerance"

They're being consistent?

Anonymous said...

"Just try, in this country, to build a house of worship, expand one, or even put one to another use. You'll find that zoning has you in a death grip."

Unless it's a Nazi mosque in Boston ... in which case the corrupt city government will buy the land for you and violate all kinds of zoning laws and separation of church and state principles to help you get your Muslim power symbol built.

The Boston Globe reports on the virulently anti-Semitic Islamic Society of Boston here:

Cedarford said...

"But this is a case of targeting religion. (A ban like this in the United States would violate both the Free Exercise and the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.)"

Many of the Founders, especially Ben Franklin and John Quincy Adams who had travelled to the "Musselman Lands" regarded Islam as a hostile, enemy to their civilization, faith.
Their solution, which was effective up to the time of business, powerful NYC Jews in Congress, and the Catholic Church opening up America to mass immigration - was to keep non-Christians out of America.

Thus we could have Freedom!! of Religion - just keep the ones inimicable to our civilization away. Jews were let in because they were not seen to be a threat. Nor, at first, were a limited number of military-Shinto, Emperor-worshipping Japanese. That changed when followers of the God they worshipped began running amok in the Pacific and killing millions of Chinese..

One would have to wonder how we would have had to react if the Nazis had made worship of Aryan Gods part of the package. Would we have to have let all Americans interested in all aspects of Nazism "Free to Love their Religious Freedom???" Even free to refuse to serve and fight "fellow religious brothers of the Teutonic Forest Gods"? Even "take out" US soldiers getting ready to fight "brother Religious Nazis"?

Thank God the Sacred 1st Amendment was not butted up against Religious Nazis in an existential war.

Or, if the Bolsheviks and their terror had not been the ideological spawn of atheist and Jewish Bolsheviks...but the Bolshies had formed Communism and the Terror instead around a militant, redistributionist philosophy based on Jesus's preachings and command for his followers to take up the sword, his own actions scourging the merchants and moneylenders?

What would we have done with our Sacred 1st Amendment if we had faced a Jesus-based Communism that had butchered 10s of millions, and not a more "comfortable" atheist enemy???

Well, we are at that point now here, and in the post-WWII Europe where "all faiths must be accepted and tolerated." We didn't luck out with Islamoids and happenstance the way we did with 200 years of restricted immigration not making enemy faiths a problem here, or the happenstance of atheist-based Communism, Nazis not having new religious beliefs, or a Emperor worshipping Shintoism that did not manifest as a threat to Americans until a hot war was on....

The response to the Ft Hood shootings, other "spontaneous Jihadi" butchery, and the threat to our civilization from Islamoids overseas ................

Calls for more than kissing our Sacred Parchment, wrapping ourselves in the Divine thoughts of the long ago Holy Founders, and praying for the best while cheering erection of each new Mosque, minaret, and for each Saudi-funded imam arriving from the Middle East into US prisons and communities to set up shop.

Titus said...

I was watching football all day yesterday and I feel bad for my fellow republicans that don't live in fabulous parts of the country.

You know the "creative class". Biotech, Hitech, etc. Making well over six figures.

What do these peons do? HVAC? Snow Removal? Leaf Blowing?

Oh shit I don't care.

Titus said...

Seriously though. How do these cretins make money?

Titus said...

Like how does some Southern Thing make enough money to go to the Auburn/Alabama football game?

Perhaps a Paper Route? Or maybe OT at Sonic?

New York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
New York said...

I think the honest thing to do is to limit Muslim immigration. If you let Muslims in, you should expect them to build mosques.

Precisely. And indeed guaranteeing this kind of freedom is crucial to increasing Muslim appreciation of liberal democracy.

The way to halt the progressive Islamicization of European cities and institutions is by limiting immigration and incentivizing more births.

Unknown said...

Ann said...

A ban like this in the United States would violate both the Free Exercise and the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

Unlike, say, a bunch of high schoolers who want to use an unoccupied class room after class hours to discuss Methodism or Catholicism and are banned by the local of the NEA and some leftist judge.

I know, we're talking about a physical election and the issue of immigration in this case, but is there that much difference, First Amendment notwithstanding?

PS fls, You dig deep enough and everybody has a history of religious intolerance.

Anonymous said...

Muslims don't allow anyone to build Jewish Temple in Medina.

We no longer allow the KKK to have cross burnings. The very act itself has been found to be so inflammatory that our courts have regulated it out of existence.

It is for those exact reasons that we shouldn't allow neo-Nazi's to build mini Reichstag here and call them mosques.

The act of building a Mosque itself is so inflammatory that we should regulate it.

The act itself is evil.

This is the exact same thinking behind the Muslim practice of murdering anyone who hands out the King James Bible at Mecca.

Muslims will murder you if you even try to convert someone to Christianity in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

They believe that the very act itself is so evil it is worthy of death.

And they're right. So why should we let them do it here?

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

Yeah, the Right is correct about limiting immigration. The Left is correct about respecting minority rights.

What we are seeing in Europe, and also in America, is the absolute worst combination of immigration and discrimination. We let people from alien cultures in, then treat them badly. This is stupid.

Europe wants immigrants, spouts mulicultural ideology, but doesn't want Muslims to act like Muslims. That's profoundly ignorant.

The US system of letting in illegal aliens while not acknowledging them as citizens creates a system that's an awful lot like segregation. Think about it. Illegals can't vote, are limited in what jobs they can have, and are always at a disadvantage in the court system. It's a terrible subversion of the American ideal.

LonewackoDotCom said...

It's worth noting that the same forces the caused the situation in EU are causing a similar situation here in the U.S.: businesses who want cheap labor and liberals who want to experiment with society.

In the U.S., many Hispanic leaders aren't shy at all about stressing how much race-based power they have now and will have in the future. Almost all the major Hispanic groups are quite far-left; one gave an award to someone who'd promoted genocide, and another has a state chapter that thinks our border might not be legally valid. And, many leaders have direct or indirect links to foreign governments and that and sheer force of numbers gives those governments power inside the U.S.

Meanwhile, those who oppose that are consistently out-worked and out-thought. Trying to get people to do something as incredibly easy as leaving comments on MediaMatters articles showing how they're wrong is like pulling hen's teeth on top of Everest. Those same people are willing to go out and wave loopy signs on street corners, but they aren't willing to do smart things that will actually fight back against the other side. In a way it's Darwinistic: they aren't fit enough.

former law student said...

Pogo, I would put it this way: A nation with a heritage of religious intolerance is not discriminating ("singling out") against Islam when it bans minarets.

Only in the US do we have a history of tolerating different religions. We are the oddballs, not Switzerland. And even here, zoning limits what houses of worship can be like.

former law student said...

Europe wants immigrants, spouts mulicultural ideology, but doesn't want Muslims to act like Muslims. That's profoundly ignorant.

Europe hasn't particularly wanted immigrants for several years now. For one example, Latin Americans recruited to live in Spain have been encouraged to go back home. Opening the EU to Eastern Europe has eased any shortage of labor for low wage jobs, and Easterners share enough culture so as not to be a problem.

The average Joe does not want his village to become multicultural. Europe is proudly monocultural, on the village/neighborhood level where most people live.

Muslims act different. You can spot them at a distance in Europe. Even here in the melting pot we expect people to blend in.

ricpic said...

If they could ban all 5'6'' 300 lb Imams they'd have the problem solved.

Bruce Hayden said...

No, I'm trying to say that Swiss people have a history of religious intolerance.

I think that it depends on your point of view, or, really which side of the issue you are/were on. The Roman Catholic Church of that time was both ubiquitous and intolerant of dissent or schism.

And, I will also say that in a number of Calvinist churches in this country, today, it is rare to see depictions of humans, including Jesus, Aryan or Semitic, for the same theological reasons that many Sunni Moslems and Jews disfavor such. In my church, there is still a dispute going on, thirty years later, about the Last Supper scene on the Communion table. Despite its beauty, I wouldn't be surprised if it disappeared after the last descendant of the donors of the table die off or leave.

So, I am not the least bit surprised at Calvinists destroying gargoyles, or, likely anything remotely human appearing, on Papist architecture at the time. They viewed this sort of stuff as idolatry (Not as bad as all those statues of Mary, the Saints, etc.), and the goal of the Reformation was to return to the roots of Christianity, from which they believed the Roman Catholics (and pretty much everyone else) had strayed so far.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

An interesting situation in America is how national minorities can be quite open about their ideology, but it's impossible to argue against it in public. That's because of our poor record of treating African, Indian, and Mexican minorities very badly. Our historical guilt blinds us to the reality that these groups are separate nations within the United States. The US is not and never has been a nation state. We've had a dominant national majority, but we've always had national minorities.

The name for that situation is empire. That's not a bad thing, since empires are the only states that can get anything done on this planet. Trying to be a nation state when we are not has caused a lot of problems in our past, including the poor treatment of minorities. At their best, empires use their size as an advantage and provide for all their constituent nations.

As an example, the President's approval rating broken down by national grouping shows something like 93% approval among African-Americans. It's 39% among whites (I don't like the term "white" because it implies biology when that's not really the issue.) Both groups people live in the same physical space but are obviously seeing the world very differently. It sure looks like one nation is happy that they got one of their own elected to control the imperial machinery. I don't think the President sees it that way, for the record.

"Nationality" is a word that people stopped using in favor of "ethnicity". I think the old word explains things better, and has less baggage. We can talk about Kurds and Shia and Serbs and Croats, but have a hard time thinking of our own country in the same way.

Anonymous said...

Should current Islamic trends continue, which seems likely given the extraordinary level of western tolerance for imported violence - it behooves all non-Muslims to prepare for the inevitable.

David said...

It is actually possible to have a free and open society without the specific provisions of our Constitution. All it requires are some people with guts and common sense. That is why the current trend to constitutionalize every issue of fairness in the courts is so pernicious. It takes the requirement of judgment out of the hands of our elected representatives.

William said...

There's a catch-22 here. Suppression of their religion causes people to embrace their faith more fervently. Church attendance in Poland has dropped precipitously since the fall of Communism. The Catholic faith became deeply embedded in the Irish soul precisely because of British discrimination. There has been a slow erosion of faith in Ireland since the British left.....In America conversely, religions have made an attempt to tolerate American values. The Mormons have had further revelations concerning the nature of marriage. No Catholic bishop would think of interdicting the sacrament in lands represented by Patrick Kennedy. The Catholic clergy's fight against abortion has been fought according to American rules, not Church rules. Even the Jews have disregarded the pronouncements of Barbra Streisand and occasionally voted according to their own conscience.....Will Islam be the only religion in American history that proves itself unable to assimilate American values or that America is unwilling to accept? I think not. No pretty woman will want to hide herself behind a veil or allow her husband to take another three wives. No ambitious man will want to give a make or break power presentation while ravenously hungry. I think over time American values will smooth if not subvert the rough edges of Islam. But I've been wrong about a lot of things.

Cedarford said...

Florida - "Unless it's a Nazi mosque in Boston."

The Muslims=Nazis trope is quite stupid. There are few elements between them that mesh. And just because certain aspects of wildly dissimilar faiths and creeds do mesh - we don't go around saying Christian Communism or Aztec Shintoism or Zionazis (even though aspects and written texts of early Zionist racial supremacy and racial theory were lifted nearly in toto by Rosenberg and other National Socialist theoreticians - who just swapped Aryan for Jew.)

"Islamofacism" and "Nazi Islam" were concocted by Neocons convinced the American public was too stupid to know the difference.
Generally, as with "liberating the noble freedom lovers of Iraq in a cakewalk", they are as correct as PT Barnum and HL their asessment of lesser educated Americans.

A big part of the problem is that religious Saudis, using oil revenue, have been the money behind all the Mosque construction and paying salaries of radical Wahabbi and Salafi mullahs they site in America and Europe to spread the faith, and make it the austere intolerant sort the Saudis have.

All while they ban all bibles, churches from KSA for all workers they import in. Impose imprisonment, beatings, summary deportation for any who try to proselytize. And ban all Jews but the most powerful, VIP sorts from setting foot in KSA.

The 1st Amendment should not allow a wealthy foreign nation to spread a creed hostile to most Americans if they are afraid to allow us the ability to reciprocate and introduce western values and faiths to Saudis.

Cedarford said...

John Lynch -

Interesting post!

ricpic said...

Only Orthodox Jews dare cross the great and mighty Babs.

holdfast said...

Nice to know there will be at least one bastion/outpost of freedom within the Euro-Ummah.

In reality, mosques are far more than houses of worship - they are the forward OP/LPs and rally points for the Jihad. The FBI and others are dead scared to "violate" the sanctity of a mosque, and thus they are perfect places to facilitate the Jihad.

Ironclad said...

I have lived in the Persian Gulf and worked in the countries in the Middle East. I am no expert, but I certainly know more about Islam than most - and certainly a lot more about the Wahhabi variety than most from direct exposure. I have seen it in action against Shia Muslims as well as non-Muslims, and it is not pretty.

What the Swiss are doing is trying to dig a fire wall around political Islam. Before it moves from being a religion into a political force. That is what other countries have not done and the reason that they are in such a mess. That and the PC dialog that pushes "equality" between all things. Some things are not equal.

I wish that people would realize that belief is personal and should be respected, but acting on the belief puts you in a different sphere, that is open to discussion and regulation.

With devout Muslims that translates into Sharia, which is a frankly a system of total regulation of life - no separation between religion and government. No one that has lived under such a system would want something like that in the West. The Swiss are correct in trying to send that message. But they are wrong in that they are not honest enough to say - believe what you want - but practice it and in doing that you move to the political sphere (and we will regulate that).

Ironclad said...

Jackpot! The referendum carried by 57% in 22 of the 26 cantons. Congratulations Switzerland for drawing a line in the sand!

The BBC are in shock! Tariq Ramadan - a.k.a. Father Taqiyaa - has a column up on the Guardian already (with no comments allowed) lamenting the vote.

I smell a "boycott the Swiss" movement next.

Unknown said...

In all the discussion about minarets, there has been little to nothing said about how they are used. Traditionally, the structures were there to permit guys with very strong voices to ascend to the little balcony at the top and call the faithful to worship.

Today, this is done by loudspeaker, often at an extremely LOUD volume. Now, from a functionalist point of view, we could argue that the LOUD volume of the 4am call to the faithful is a proto-alarm clock. But over in my neck of the woods (Israel), there is also a certain (passive aggressive) nuisance factor. I experienced the same thing living in India--the minaret is a wonderful "poke-in-the-eye".

So, the Swiss should be concerned with this blatant in-your-face praxis. Long ago the Swiss negotiated their own version of the Protocols of Westphalia that would allow individual religious communities to practice without being in each other's faces.

If the local Muslim communities would agree to minimize the noise pollution emissions from their buildings, I bet a compromise could be found.

J said...

"A ban like this in the United States would violate both the Free Exercise and the Establishment Clause of the Constitution"

Just as a technical point, it's my understanding this is a constitutional amendment. Are constitutional amendments not constitutional by definition?

MnMark said...

Will Islam be the only religion in American history that proves itself unable to assimilate American values or that America is unwilling to accept?

Excuse me, but why in the hell should we take the chance? What possible thing do we have to gain from a bunch of muslims immigrating here that could possibly make it worthwhile to take even a miniscule chance that Islam will continue to behave like Islam? Christianity hasn't changed Islam in 1500 years, it's always been our enemy, actively so, except when it's been too weak to attack us. Why would a multicultural country full of progressive pussies who can't bring themselves to say anything nice about their own country possibly be able to change it? Just how much damage is going to have to be done before multiculturalists wake up from their trance?

blake said...

Actually, it's not really ironic at all. I don't think either side is pretending to champion free speech, are they?

Having an argument where both sides oppose freedom is pretty usual these days, isn't it?

Scott M said...

You can only have free speech protected if the regime/culture/society in question values it and strives to protect it.

I have spoken to, read, and listened to too many middle eastern immigrants that speak of the impending cultural danger to a Europe too petrified by PC to defend it's own cultures and societies.

There is a difference between what is happening in Europe and the US slowly absorbing changing (and being changed by) the two largest waves of foreign immigrants. Muslim immigration and their demands that the hosting society change to accommodate them in ways that are at odds with the values of said societies is patently dangerous...especially given the divergent birth rates.

The Swiss are the canary in the mineshaft.

HT said...

Back in 2000 I think the Swiss also decided to ban head scarves in schools. At least that is what a Swiss man told me when we were both traveling in Europe. He was fully in agreement, and not really what we would say is "right wing." He was self confident that it was the right thing to do. I'm sure he agrees with this decision. Immigration in Europe and the US are two totally different things, because of space among other things. But space is a definite difference.

Unknown said...

I agree with the Swiss feminists. Not all religions are religions; as Pogo said, Islamism is a political ideology bent on conquest. The minaret symbolizes that. This ban will help the moderate Muslims.

A friend in Holland was shocked when her liberal Muslim friends said they had voted for Pim Fortuyn. "Of course," they said, "We know what the radicals can do!" This puzzled my liberal friend greatly.

Maizin Clement's Copy Editing said...

Althouse, the minarets are symbols of Islamic domination. That's all they're about. What the Muslims will do is build them higher than any other building because the ideology is that nothing should be higher than a minaret in order to demonstrate the supremacy of Islam. Yes, they are that assholish.

JAL said...

Calvinism and Islam have one important idea in common, namely that the infidels, apostates, and non-believers are eternally damned.

Here's one important difference between Calvinism and Islam:

Islamsists believe it is their duty to send the infidels to Hell.

Calvinists are content to let their God, who does not need them to defend Him, do the job.

JAL said...

If you read some of the articles, the Muslims have meeting places, just no minarets. When the Sikhs got a temple with a dome, they Muslims said -- "Hey, why not us too?"

It was also mentioned that they did not broadcast prayers 5 times a day. The implication was that even with the minarets they would not be able too. My thought there is how that there would probably be a move to lift that restriction in the future if they got minarets.

Population: 7,600,000, Muslims - 400,000.

wv chadall
The chadur worn by the chattel

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scott M said...

...looks like Teresa's spam hands ran out of steam here...

Harry Harrysson said...

The highest tower/building has always meant political and religious dominance. In the good old days it was the churches, Europe was Christian. Now many forces say that one cannot stop Arab oil money from building more and more dominant buildings all over the world - for religious/political reasons blabla.

Wait until high churches start to pop up in Saudiarabia and Iran, THEN let the European Minarets grow, not before.

Unknown said...

I guess most of you guys never lived close to a minaret. This comes from a firsthand experience: Minarets are noisy and potentially harmful to one's hearing. You'll be bombarded by the throathy Arabic voices of the Muezzin (usually recorded, rarely live) at least 5 times a day from early morning to a few hours after the sun set, usually from a set of 4 loudspeakers, aimed to all 4 main points of the compass, placed at the top of the minarets and blasting at full volume. And you better pray that the Jamaah there are not too active: they prone to also air the lectures, the chants, or even the chattering of the kids. And this all will get worse during the Ramadhan, the month of fasting. The Swissies have made a very very wise decision.