Swiss ready to reject ban on minarets
Over half of Swiss voters are against a proposal to ban minaret construction in Switzerland, an opinion poll showed Thursday.Geneva -- More than 51 percent of Swiss voters are against a right wing proposal to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland, an opinion poll showed Thursday, in advance of a November referendum.
About 34.9 percent of those polled were ready to support the ban while 13.8 percent were still undecided before voting on 29 November, according to the poll published by the daily Tages-Anzeiger.
Some 51.3 percent would vote against the ban if the ballot took place next Sunday, the opinion poll showed after a right-wing poster campaign on the minarets was sharply criticised by Switzerland's anti-racism commission.
The referendum proposal on a constitutional ban was launched by right-wing groups and is supported by the country's biggest political party, the hard right Swiss People's Party (SVP).
Switzerland's Commission against Racism said Wednesday that an anti-minaret poster campaign begun in recent days by the SVP insulted the country's Muslim minority and could threaten public peace.
The poster depicts a woman in a black burqa in front of a Swiss flag covered with missile-like black minarets, underscored by the word "Stopp."
Authorities in Basel, Lausanne and Fribourg this week banned the poster from city billboards, saying it was "racist."
However, some other major cities such as Geneva, Lucerne and Zurich said they would allow the posters for freedom of speech.
The Swiss government and all the other major political parties are recommending a 'no' vote. In a historic move, local Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders united to reject a ban on minarets.
The proposed ban would not outlaw mosques, according to the groups that introduced the referendum. Just four minarets are believed to exist in the country, Swiss media reported.
The opinion poll was conducted by the Isopublic polling institute on a sample of 1,007 people between 24 September and 3 October.
AFP / Expatica