Posted by: Tony Carson | 28 November, 2009

Switzerland: Whores to commerce

They don’t do wars they merely profit from them.

And they use their famed ‘neutrality’ to lure in everything from International headquarters (Olympics) to corporate headquarters to illicit art and money and to make all this safe, they pass laws to protect themselves and have built bunkers against nuclear war for every man woman and child in the country.

The country’s imagine is one of alpine meadows, skiing, banking, chocolates, watches and intolerance. Though the country is composed of French, Italians and Germans it wants to keep its hybrid clean.

Now this:

The campaign posters are inflammatory: Minarets rising like missiles from the national flag.

A proposal championed by right-wing parties to ban minarets in Switzerland goes to a nationwide vote on Sunday in a referendum that has set off an emotional debate about national identity and stirred fears of boycotts and violent reactions from Muslim countries.

Well done Switzerland. You’ve high-graded the planet with your unique brand of secrecy and intolerance but this might just be the one act that exposes you for who you are:

Business leaders say a minaret ban would be disastrous for the Swiss economy because it could drive away wealthy Muslims who bank in Switzerland, buy the country’s luxury goods, and frequent its resorts.

No talk of morality, of freedoms, of tolerance. Just money.

Switzerland has a well-earned history of being whores to commerce.

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There are only four minarets in Switzerland


UPDATE: November 29, 2009

Swiss voters have supported a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets, official results show.

More than 57% of voters and 22 out of 26 cantons – or provinces – voted in favour of the ban.

•••••

Two reasoned and conflicting views from the Comments section of a BBC article Swiss voters back ban on minarets.

I am a Muslim woman who studied Egyptology and comparative studies of religions, and I cannot see the benefit of raising minarets in the current time when we are using modern technology to be heard. No one will go up the minaret to call for prayers, and to be respectful of others the call of prayer shouldn’t be loud and impose a forced wake up call. Minarets are part of the normal view in Arab countries but in Europe they make me sad because they’re changing the original culture in which some Muslims took shelter.

Amal Amer, Cairo, Egypt

This is a discriminatory vote against Islam. I can see no reason why there should not be a minaret on top of a mosque. Switzerland is a diverse secular and religious society without a state religion so a minaret ranks alongside a church tower or steeple. I moved to England for a year and found myself surrounded by mosques, temples, synagogues and churches existing in tolerance.

John, Rikon, Switzerland

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