Switzerland bans Minarets?

December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

This past Sunday, with a majority of 57%, Swiss voters adopted a referendum banning the construction of Islamic minarets. The campaign behind this recent development has been driven by leaders of the nationalist Swiss People's Party (SVP). Hailed by some in Switzerland as a necessary step to curb "encroaching Islamism," the action sparked a critical response from the United Nations human rights chief, Navi Pillay, who is quoted as saying Switzerland's minaret ban is "discriminatory." The following linked CNN article "Swiss vote to ban minaret construction," outlines some of the particulars of the story, while the video below highlights reactions from Muslims and non-Muslims throughout Switzerland.

This story will arguably only get more heated as time goes on, as NPR reported last night that informal polls of Europeans in other EU countries would be amenable to exploring similar actions. Can you imagine this discussion occurring in the United States? How would Christian communities in the U.S. feel if they were prohibited from building church steeples with crosses? Discuss this event with your friends and family and let me know what you think.

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