Swiss ready to reject ban on minarets

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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

1 Comment To This Article

  • Simone posted:

    on 29th October 2009, 12:51:58 - Reply

    Forget 'not speaking the language and smaller things' though they are important. The most important thing is this will encourage Muslims to gain power gradually and then have their way in just about any issue in future, and then go on to impose their will on others, and then finally get an upper hand. Well many will ask "is this really true?". Well look at several regions of the world like countries in Africa, Kashmir etc - first migrate, then multiply, then finally occupy. Its not a big problem if Muslims mix with people of other religions and if Muslim Girls are under Muslim law allowed to marry Non-Muslim men of their own free will, and so on - But thats not the case. Do Muslim countries permit building of churches?, leave alone elaborate church towers - No they dont and will not. Does the United Nations go about threatening Muslim countries to allow building of Churches and Church Towers? - No. This discrimanatory attitude should be pointed out to the United Nations. There should be a million signatures collected in switzerland forcing the United Nations to persuade the Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and Gulf Countries to allow construction of churches, Synagogues, Buddhist and Hindu Temples - If they want to blame Switzerland on this issue. Equality should not be a discrimatory one way traffic. --- If Muslims change their law to permit mixed religious marriages, then automatically AT LEAST their children(who will study in local schools) will be sure to integrate, and thus the basic fundamental culture of Switzerland(free thinking, freedom in general which leads to healthy human development) will be preserved.