Iran urges Bern not to enforce minaret ban

7th December 2009, Comments 1 comment

Iran warned Switzerland on Saturday of "consequences" over a referendum banning the building of new mosque minarets.

Tehran -- Iran warned Switzerland on Saturday of "consequences" over a referendum banning the building of new mosque minarets and urged Bern not to enforce the ban, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.

The vote went "against the prestige of a country which claims to be an advocate of democracy and human rights," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told Swiss counterpart Micheline Calmy-Rey in a telephone call, quoted by IRNA.

Mottaki said the recent referendum would "damage Switzerland’s image as a pioneer of respecting human rights among Muslims' public opinion."

"Values such as tolerance, dialogue and respecting others' religions should never be put to referendum," he argued, warning Switzerland of the "consequences" of anti-Islamic acts, IRNA reported.

The foreign minister hoped the Bern government would soon "take necessary steps and find a constitutional way to prevent imposition of the ban."

IRNA said Switzerland's ambassador in Tehran was summoned on Saturday before the foreign ministry, which protested against the minaret ban which was backed by more than 57 percent of voters who cast their ballot on 29 November.

Calmy-Rey said the referendum was carried out against the will of the Swiss government, which would "use all its means to support Muslims’ rights," the IRNA report added.

The referendum on a constitutional ban on minarets was proposed by a right-wing Swiss party and had not been expected to succeed.

Besides the government, the ban was opposed by the bulk of Switzerland's political parties as well as the economic establishment.

It drew widespread criticism from the United Nations, Muslim states, fellow European countries and the Vatican.

AFP / Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • tazzt posted:

    on 12th December 2009, 05:21:00 - Reply

    Doesn't anyone find it strange that the govt of Switzerland is apologizing for it's own people's decision reached thru democratic means? The govt is supposed to reflect the "will of the people" in a democratic society. And why should any nation be threatened by another for actions taken on its own soil involving its own laws? Did hey ban mosques - No. Did they ban the Islamic religion - No? They don't want their skylines changed by an architectural feature that is foreign, I repeat foreign to their society and culture. They have the right to vote, they exercised their right, now people should respect their wishes, especially their elected government. Maybe it's time for the Swiss citzenry to review their legislators to see whose will they are supporting if not the ordinary voters who pay their salaries. And for Libya to threaten anyone is rediculous. Any they threaten them thru open references to ports and the sea as if they controlled them and could prohibit their use by Swiss commerce. Why do western nations tolerate such undemocratic behavior? Why is their so much fear and fear mongering involving Islam? The Muslims definitely have created this fouled nest by their failure to speak out sgainst terrorism wrecked in their name by dissedents that they can't seem to control. They need to get their house in order before telling others in the west how to interaction with them. When you move to a country other than your own, obey their culture, obey their society and fit in or leave. Cest Fine