Monday, November 30, 2009

To say that the Swiss ban on Minarets is regrettable and reflects poorly on the Swiss is an understatement. Why not ban crosses?

While here in France Sarko has established a commission on what it means to be French. Navel gazing is among the favorite activities of my adopted country, though it is interesting that this effort is being roundly criticized by all sides of the political and cultural spectrum. Likely due to the fear that preferred apple carts will be overturned.

My point of view is that when you immigrate to another country, permanently of for an indefinite period you need to adapt to the dominant culture and live with in it. This doesn’t mean that you can’t advocate for change, but you can’t reject the culture and claim that it doesn’t apply to you.



Anonymous Anonymous said...


Isn't Switzerland Christian? So shouldn't Muslims try to fit in? And one needn't object on religious majority grounds; minarets are tall things that are purposely meant to stand above their neighbors. Why should Switzerland suddenly change its look? And why should it as a Christian nation decide it should look Islamic?

(Note: I'm not a Christian. I have no dog in this fight.)

7:38 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

"Isn't Switzerland Christian? Perhaps colloquially but that's beside the point, ostensibly the US is Christian also but others may practice a different faith.

Regarding what a minaret is:
From Webster: a tall slender tower of a mosque having one or more balconies from which the summons to prayer is cried by the muezzin.

From Wikipedia: Minarets are generally tall spires with onion-shaped or conical crowns, usually either free standing or taller than any associated support structure.

So they are architectural details of a place of worship - like a cross.

No disagreement with fitting in, but a few minarets will hardly deface the landscape of Switzerland.

In the end the Swiss run the risk of being what they fear, intolerant, and only different in kind from the wahhabists.

No dog here either except the belief that we should each be able to choose our own superstitions. (boy I'm going to get email about that)


8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no expert on how the Swiss think but I'm not sure I'd want a minaret changing the look of my little town. It doesn't fit the picture postcards that every tourist has in his head. I doubt a constitutional amendment was the way to go, but perhaps that's the only way the Swiss can control this. M

4:13 AM  

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