Earlier this month, the Suisse (Swiss, for Anglophiles) passed a constitutional referendum that banned the further construction of minarets in their country. The new amendment does not affect the existing 4 minarets, or the existing 150 mosques, it just halts the construction of any additional minarets.
Now, out-cry against this amendment passing was wide-spread. This included such strange bed fellows as the politically correct left wing, and Fundamentalist Muslim Nations, like Saudi Arabia & Iran (who do not allow the construction of ANY churches of ANY religion other than the one the state sanctions) and political pundits, like The Daily Show. Originally, I had a negative initial reaction to the news of the law passing, with the random man-on-the-street reports in Zurich, Basel, Bern and elsewhere that I saw or heard on the BBC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR et al, where they picked The Most racist, most negative, most sensational citizens to interview.
Then today, I get an email from my friend John, a kindly engineer retiree with whom I regularly correspond. He's a Francophile / Francophone / former Vietnam Vet officer who splits his time between SE France and Florida each year, and a rather enlightened chap. He was applauding the passage... which took me off-guard and aback... so I did some digging on Google, and found this helpful Lexis-Nexis article (link here), which helps to put the hypocrisy in perspective.
The one time I thought I would have to go to Saudi Arabia for work years ago, and saw all of the affidavits you have to make & sign, and pledges to NOT bring in Bibles or to proselytize... it was appalling. Not that I would... but to have to sign a legal document saying you know you cannot do it, and if you do it is punishable severely under the law (up to, and including Capital punishment) was as over-board as Senator Ensign of Nevada defending the sanctity of marriage, or Senator Larry Craig of Idaho railing against the evils of homosexuality. Why you so vocal and afraid of it, hmmmm boys?
So when Saudi Arabia and Iran and other theocratic dictatorships allow the free and open building of religious places of worship and preaching of any religion within their borders (including Atheism, which is punishable by death), the Suisse should again revise their constitution to allow the building of minarets.
I think that is fair.
1 year ago