The Pendleton Panther

Swiss Mandate Mangles Minaret Manufacture

Posted on: December 2, 2009

A referendum conducted by the Swiss government on Sunday banned the construction of minarets upon Islamic Mosques.  Of the 200 Mosques that exist in Switzerland, only four are currently topped by traditional minarets.  These four examples of Islamic architecture may remain standing, but the preventative decision has come across to some as more than a little prejudiced.  Although the relatively low number of Mosques could suggest a small Muslim population, Switzerland is presently home to about 400,000 practitioners of Islam.  The fear that drove the campaign was based around the “Islamization of Switzerland”.  Some parties even went so far as to say that Switzerland was becoming a hotbed for Islamic extremism, and that the construction of minarets was on par with the wearing of burqas and enforcement of Sharia (Islamic law).  These claims may have been slightly exaggerated as Muslims only make up about 4% of the Swiss population.  Still, 58% of the voting public supported the ban, showing that a division between Muslims and non-Muslims in Switzerland may be inevitable.

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1 Response to "Swiss Mandate Mangles Minaret Manufacture"

ryan, can you try to upload this photo again? I’m not sure why, but it’s not showing up. thanks.

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