Sunday, 29 November 2009

Mountains, Mosques and Minarets




Opinion

The delicate issue about whether or not to ban the construction of minarets throughout the cantons of Switzerland comes into conflict with the UN resolutions on human rights and freedom to practice religion. While it may not be desirable for Swiss culture and environment to be dominated by the imposition of tall minarets, muezzin calls to prayer (customarily greatly amplified by megaphones facing in four directions), though to date this has been banned, and possibly the adoption of Sharia Law, the attitude of the Swiss government is to oppose such a ban on minaret-building.

Switzerland is now home to more than 400,000 Moslems who are free to set up places of worship where they can practise their religion. However, the raising of minarets and the muezzin will undoubtedly and insidiously change the face and character of Switzerland forever. The maxim : "when in Rome do as the Romans do" is as true today as it ever was, and the people of Switzerland are right in supporting the ban on minarets.

Other European nations need to take notice of the democratic will of the Swiss and reject moves towards the Islamicisation of Europe. Yes, they are here, and are free to worship but not to radically change the nature and traditional character of European society. Switzerland is a Liberal Democracy and the people have spoken.

Click on this: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20091129/tts-uk-swiss-minarets-ca02f96.html
And: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/091129/world/switzerland_referendum_islam_religion_egypt
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/switzerland/6683249/Switzerland-appears-to-have-backed-minaret-ban.html


Note: this opinion has nothing to do with anti-religious sentiment, British nationalism, Fascism, far-right politics, cultural superiority, isolationism or separatism - quite the opposite. It has more to do with discernment, far-sighted thinking  and common sense.

"We have our civil laws here," insisted Mr Freysinger. "Banning minarets would send a clear signal that our European laws, our Swiss laws, have to be accepted. And if you want to live here, you must accept them. If you don't, then go back."


Another view: "I understand the swiss ..they dont want the landscape impeded on... they have had a certain look and culture and do not want that disrupted... I dont blame them for not wanting those ugly things ruining the beautiful swiss scenery...its as simple as that...swiss villages and towns should remain looking well, swiss its their culture leave them alone and let them make their own decisions..bravo Switzerland you are not pussified like america is becoming....buy swiss products and visit their country."

9 comments:

SiƓnnyn said...

I have live in Swizerland, and find it charming and lovely. One of the things that make it so is the cohesion of its architecture.

Small chapels and curches pepper its urban, and in some cases, rural, landscape. Minarettes would be an intrusion.

However, I would not want to interfere with the right to private worship.I have read the Koran, and can't see where minarettes are made a sine qua non. Correct me if I am wrong.

alanindyfed said...

Minarets are not a sine qua non.
They are a creation of Muslim Arabic architecture and are beautiful in their natural setting, the Middle East, not however in Middle Europe.

MH said...

Compare these two posters:

First - Second

Now try telling me that the Swiss have made a sensible decision.

Planning controls are quite sufficient to ensure that ANY form of intrusive architecture is not built in such a way as to spoil either landscape or townscape. So why single out just this? It is a statement of unrestrained prejudice and unwarranted fear.

Sure, they're entitled to make the decision, but I think they got it badly wrong.

MH said...

And as for buildings that are "beautiful in their natural setting" but not welcome elsewhere, I guess we should never have allowed this equally intrusive Italianate tower to spoil our own mountainous landscape either.

Another foreign monstrosity

Our precious natural beauty ruined

alanindyfed said...

The difference is that the tower at Portmeirion is not ubiquitous, and there are already 4 minarets in Switzerland which will remain. They will not now be scattered throughout the country as had been planned.
I have no objection to one Italianate village being placed on the Welsh coast.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you can erect new christian church spires in Saudi or Israel. I have no problem with that so why shouldn't the reverse apply? Darwin

MH said...

If you think that minarets in Switerland were EVER going to be "ubiquitous" you are living in exactly the same fantasy land as the BNP, Alan. Each individual proposal could have been considered locally on its own merits. If you have the right to magnanimously declare that you have no objection to an Italianate tower in Wales, why can the locals in one part of Switerland no longer say the same to an Islamic tower in the shadow of their mountains?

And what about the Greek and Roman style porticos, the Paladian style villas, the French style chateaux? Aren't they much more liberally "scattered throughout the country"? I'd laugh out loud at anyone who said, "We already have four buildings with domes which will remain, but we must put a ban on building any more domes."

Look at this picture.

Why is a piece of architecture symbolic of a religion from one part of the Middle East so different from a piece of architecture symbolic of another religion from another part of the Middle East?

Be consistent. Why ban one but not the other?

The only way this ban could stand is if the Swiss also ban building any more church spires. Which, to use to use another piece of irrelevant justification, are not sine qua non to Christian worship either.

Let me ask the $64,000 question. Do you and Sionnyn support a ban on building minarets in Wales too? If you do, I would not want to live in your Wales ... but I bet BNP supporters from England would come in their droves.

alanindyfed said...

People who live in a country have a democratic right to object to the building of structures that would alter the cultural environment and affect the character of society. They are only protecting cultural and architectural integrity. The referendum was democratic and they voted in support of the ban.

I grant you that many have an inherent fear of future Islamic domination of Europe. Whether this view is justifiable is debatable.

Robert said...

Well it was a referendum something our government does not like anyway, it can interfere with the rule of government in the UK, They the Swiss decided not to allow the minarets, but is this the end, romour has it the government will now state it's illegal and allow the freedom of faith.

little wonder people are turning away from politics.