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Sinister

Ze Swiss To Vote On Minaret Ban

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Switzerland votes on minaret banSwitzerland risks international pariah status and a backlash across the Muslim world as the country votes on whether to ban the building of minarets on mosques.muslim-switzerland_1519983c.jpg

Sunday's vote has been forced by members of the far-right Swiss People's party (SVP) which has provoked a national debate over immigration with powerful billboard images.The stark "stop" posters depicting a Muslim woman in a burka against the backdrop of a Swiss flag studded with missile shaped black minarets have been banned in many towns.Hanspeter Rentsch, an executive director at the watch company Swatch, has warned that the referendum, and the poster propaganda, could damage Switzerland in the eyes of the world."The 'Swiss' brand must continue to represent values such as openness, pluralism and freedom of religion. Under no circumstances must it be connected with hatred, animosity towards foreigners and narrow-mindedness," he said.Campaigners have demanded the referendum to halt "political Islamisation" by amending the Swiss constitution to add a clause stating "the construction of minarets is prohibited".Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, the Swiss justice minister, has suggested that a vote for a ban could fuel Islamist radicalism and violent protests, such as those that greeted Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2006."This is not an appropriate instrument for combating religious extremism. It risks the opposite, of serving the cause of fanatics," she said.But Oskar Freysinger, an SVP MP, compares warnings of anger in the Muslim world to the arguments used by "appeasers" of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis."It is what Chamberlain thought in Munich in 1938. If these are the consequences, it is the proof that what we are doing to defend ourselves is legitimate," he said.The vote is required because campaigners got over 100,000 signatures on a petition against minarets triggering a vote under the Swiss constitution.The campaign followed a row over a minaret in the tiny town of Langenthal, in the Bern canton of Switzerland.Earlier this year Langenthal's 750 Muslims asked for planning permission to add a minaret, 30 feet high, to their mosque in a town with 11 churches and 14,500 inhabitants.The reaction to the apparently harmless request has polarised Switzerland and crossed borders to feed into British, French, Dutch and Austrian fears over Islam and national identity."This minaret is a symbol of conquest and power which marks the will to introduce Sharia law as has happened in some other European cities. We will not accept that," said Ulrich Schueler, an SVP politician and leader of the "stop" minaret campaign.Muslims have rejected the argument that a minaret symbolises Muslim power. Mutalip Karaademi, leader of Langenthal's Muslim community and of Albanian origin, accused Mr Schueler of telling "dirty lies"."A minaret is a symbol nothing more. It s nice to see a house of god with a minaret or a church steeple or cupolas on a synagogue," he said."They call us terrorists. They call us Taliban, so many labels all wrong. They insult us. We love this country, almost more than our own. Our children were born here."
Swear it's the Eid weekend as well?
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theyre parring itsaw some program on BBC news about it

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Rise of the right throughout Europe!Clash of fundamentalisms seems very true.

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