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02/12/2009Dutch MPs reject motion against minarets
A motion to restrict the building of minarets and other religious expressions in the Netherlands has been rejected by most MPs.
Following the Swiss referendum to ban minarets, the motion was submitted by orthodox Christian party SGP and supported by Freedom Party and MP Rita Verdonk.
The motion called for more discretion over the satellite dishes that are often placed by immigrants, limiting the call to Muslim prayers and building of big mosques and minarets.
SGP MP Kees van der Staaij said building of minarets and mosques may increase feelings of alienation and disaffection among native Dutch.
He added he would think it perfectly normal if Saudi Arabia banned the building of cathedrals in Mecca.
On Sunday, the Swiss voted for a ban on minarets in a referendum. The United Nation High Commissioner Navi Pillay said the ban is discriminatory and she feared it would lead to deeper divisions between different groups.
Turkey has also sharply condemned the ban. President Abdullah Gül called it a disgrace for Switzerland.
“It is an example of the increasing hostility towards Muslims in the West,” he said.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica
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