Switzerland referendum on banning Minarets [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Switzerland referendum on banning Minarets

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Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 01:44 PM
This is horrible news. The BBC is reporting that even though initially the referendum was going to lose, exit polls show that Swiss voters have accepted the ban on Minarets.

I'm not a Muslim but the world seems to be going one step forward and two steps back.

Projections Suggest Ban Backed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8385069.stm)

Mods: I understand if this might be a sensitive issue and has to be deleted.

gulzhan
11-29-2009, 02:00 PM
My friend went to work to Switzerland for the summer and was shocked to see that many Swiss are racists. I think it's not about religion. They view Muslims as a different race. If it was about religion, they could suggest to close synagoges for example?

bokehlicious
11-29-2009, 03:08 PM
A true shame, at least my canton was one of the four to be against...

prima donna
11-29-2009, 03:14 PM
Sanity prevails -- Americans and Italians would do well to follow a similar path. Sarkozy's ban on burkas is a model to be emulated by leaders and policymakers alike.

Johnny Groove
11-29-2009, 03:34 PM
So much for neutrality.

JolánGagó
11-29-2009, 03:50 PM
Prayer calls urbi et orbi as they're done in muslim countries would be entirely out of place in Europe, so there is no need for any minaret whatsoever. Mosques aren't forbiden, i understand, so it's a mere question of urban landscape. The Swiss are right.

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 03:56 PM
Mosques are not at all forbidden, and everyone is welcome to practice their religion. The country has no history of Islam, has the right to exercise its concerns over "Islamicization" (without at all condemning Muslims practising their religion) and the vote has been fair.

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 03:59 PM
So much for neutrality.
Nah, sounds you like may not really know what Swiss neutrality refers to.

There are votes all over the world that are disgusting to others (i.e, people from other countries) -- we hated the re-election of GWB for instance. But, had to live with it.

Johnny Groove
11-29-2009, 04:00 PM
Nah, sounds you like may not really know what Swiss neutrality refers to.

There are votes all over the world that are disgusting to others (i.e, people from other countries) -- we hated the re-election of GWB for instance. But, had to live with it.

It originally referred to their historic neutrality during European wars of the past.

I made a reference that perhaps the Swiss are neutral in most things. I guess not.

maldini
11-29-2009, 04:01 PM
A true shame, at least my canton was one of the four to be against...

So was mine, but we can't buy anything from that. We just have to watch now that we can make the best out of it, but we have to accept the vote :o

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 04:04 PM
I agree that it's not a ban on Mosques or Islam at all but why just this religious symbol?

There are Hindu temples with particular architecture, Jewish synagogues and other such institutions with their own distinctive features so why not ban those as well.

In such times instead of embracing other cultures and trying to pacify tensions the world just wants to create more divisions.

Har-Tru
11-29-2009, 04:55 PM
The Swiss really are a special people...

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 05:00 PM
I agree that it's not a ban on Mosques or Islam at all but why just this religious symbol?

There are Hindu temples with particular architecture, Jewish synagogues and other such institutions with their own distinctive features so why not ban those as well.

In such times instead of embracing other cultures and trying to pacify tensions the world just wants to create more divisions.

Well, this is not a black and white issue. This is why it was debated and put to referendum, so that it reflects the majority opinion. There are other issues underlying this. It is not just building a physical structure, it is the possibility that it reflects something more, and also safeguarding against the possibility of the introduction of Sharia law into the country which would be incompatible with Swiss laws. You may or may not have followed how this has developed in the U.K, France, and other European countries.

For whatever it's worth, there has been a lot of tension in the Euro area and Europe more generally, regarding various issues of Islam. People in Switzerland should feel free to look at these issues and ask whether they want to take a step that (may or may not-- who knows?) safeguard against those problems in their own countries.

Funny, you from India are mentioning this. Babri Mosque was demolished by Hindus there, no? Hardly an "embracing of other cultures".

Byrd
11-29-2009, 05:00 PM
It's tit for tat really, expected.

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 05:07 PM
Well, this is not a black and white issue. This is why it was debated and put to referendum, so that it reflects the majority opinion. There are other issues underlying this. It is not just building a physical structure, it is the possibility that it reflects something more, and also safeguarding against the possibility of the introduction of Sharia law into the country which would be incompatible with Swiss laws. You may or may not have followed how this has developed in the U.K, France, and other European countries.

For whatever it's worth, there has been a lot of tension in the Euro area and Europe more generally, regarding various issues of Islam. People in Switzerland should feel free to look at these issues and ask whether they want to take a step that (may or may not-- who knows?) safeguard against those problems in their own countries.

Funny, you from India are mentioning this. Babri Mosque was demolished by Hindus there, no? Hardly an "embracing of other cultures".

This isn't a black and white issue no. And debates are always good rather than keeping everything in the dark.

I don't understand what a sign of religion has to do with Sharia law being introduced into law. As I said earlier, I'm for separation of church and state but that means not including the positives or negatives.

I love how for some reason people love to throw "but your country does this too" (this happened in another thread as well). Did I mention anywhere that I was proud of what was done? The Babri Masjid demolition was absolutely despicable. And sadly that wasn't even the latest tirade with the Gujarat riots in 2002. That doesn't mean we don't need to learn from others mistakes. I showed my power by voting against the government which allowed those riots to happen and partook in those acts.

My point to opening the thread isn't against Switzerland but the world in general. Open your mind a little and stop acting childish in saying "You did it as well". I'm open for a civil discussion without throwing insults against countries without getting context.

gulzhan
11-29-2009, 05:17 PM
Prayer calls urbi et orbi as they're done in muslim countries would be entirely out of place in Europe, so there is no need for any minaret whatsoever. Mosques aren't forbiden, i understand, so it's a mere question of urban landscape. The Swiss are right.

Why am I not surprised :rolleyes:

Mosques are not at all forbidden, and everyone is welcome to practice their religion. The country has no history of Islam, has the right to exercise its concerns over "Islamicization" (without at all condemning Muslims practising their religion) and the vote has been fair.

OK, so now it's all about architectural style :haha:

prima donna
11-29-2009, 05:26 PM
Well, this is not a black and white issue. This is why it was debated and put to referendum, so that it reflects the majority opinion. There are other issues underlying this. It is not just building a physical structure, it is the possibility that it reflects something more, and also safeguarding against the possibility of the introduction of Sharia law into the country which would be incompatible with Swiss laws. You may or may not have followed how this has developed in the U.K, France, and other European countries.

For whatever it's worth, there has been a lot of tension in the Euro area and Europe more generally, regarding various issues of Islam. People in Switzerland should feel free to look at these issues and ask whether they want to take a step that (may or may not-- who knows?) safeguard against those problems in their own countries.

Funny, you from India are mentioning this. Babri Mosque was demolished by Hindus there, no? Hardly an "embracing of other cultures".
Lovely post.

tangerine_dream
11-29-2009, 06:23 PM
Minarets have nothing to do with freedom of religion. They already have mosques.

I made a reference that perhaps the Swiss are neutral in most things. I guess not.
One of history's greatest myths.

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 06:35 PM
Why am I not surprised :rolleyes:



OK, so now it's all about architectural style :haha:

I didn't see anything about architectural style in my post. Not sure why you quoted me. Weird :lol:

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 06:50 PM
It's tit for tat really, expected.

Yes, it really is not a surprise to most except the media who feign surprise since polls showed the initiative would be rejected quite firmly. Of course, on a matter like this, few are willing to openly state their true intention of voting for (the possibility of the) fear of backlash. Even after the results, there is an incentive to lie and say you were against the initiative. Even on these boards.

Look, the fact is that this is a very touchy issue primarily because it is about Islam. There have been many routine rejections of, for example, Scientology's demands in Europe --including that of overturning a ruling that deems them a "criminal organization"-- and nobody creates threads about that because the issues that are raised with that are somewhat different than those in the current one. Nobody lives in a vacuum, and quite a few (not all, maybe not even the majority) of the big unrests of the last decade have been associated or arisen with the extremist wings of Islam. 9/11 and the aftermath, the bombings in Spain, the killing of the politician in Holland, the problems in France with the hijab rules, the cartoon issue in Denmark, the bombings in Mumbai, the train bombings in the U.K and so on. It is difficult for most people to separate out what is "extremist Islam" from non-extremist, and given the preponderance of difficulties that most European nations have had in reconciling their ways of life with that of Islam, this vote really ought not to be a great surprise.

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 06:57 PM
During the run up to this referendum, I also learned about a similar situation in the U.S.


Muslims see new opposition to building mosques since 9/11
By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY
Some Muslim groups seeking to build mosques to accommodate their growing numbers of followers are encountering vehement opposition in communities across the nation.
http://images.usatoday.com/_common/_images/clear.gifhttp://images.usatoday.com/_common/_images/clear.gifBy Eileen Blass, USA TODAY

In some cases, the conflicts are similar to those that for decades have pitted residents against expansion plans by large churches. Neighbors in communities from New Jersey to Arizona have protested Muslim groups' proposals for mosques by raising classic "not-in-my-backyard" arguments that have focused on the sizes of planned buildings, parking, lighting and other factors that can affect property values. But the debates over mosques in several U.S. cities during the past two years occasionally have led to name-calling and allegations of bigotry — a reflection of some residents' mistrust of Muslims since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by radical Muslims.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2004-03-08-mosque-opposition_x.htm

Tommy_Vercetti
11-29-2009, 07:04 PM
I love how different things are in Western countries as opposed to anywhere else in history. A country tries to maintain it's established laws and customs and they are intolerant and scary. Now in America, European settlers looking for a better life were butchered, tortured and scalped, yet those committing the atrocities are portrayed as the eternal victims for defending their land because they lost. Now the Swiss pass a law to stop invasion and destruction of their culture, which will happen in time and it's so terrible.

I would LOVE to see the reaction of the world if a group of Texans tortured, murdered and scalped some Mexicans coming here for a better life. You know, like the poor oppressed Indians use to do all the time. But it was their home right? Yet that doesn't seem to apply to Europeans who object to cultural extermination.

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 07:08 PM
Yes, it really is not a surprise to most except the media who feign surprise since polls showed the initiative would be rejected quite firmly. Of course, on a matter like this, few are willing to openly state their true intention of voting for (the possibility of the) fear of backlash. Even after the results, there is an incentive to lie and say you were against the initiative. Even on these boards.

Look, the fact is that this is a very touchy issue primarily because it is about Islam. There have been many routine rejections of, for example, Scientology's demands in Europe --including that of overturning a ruling that deems them a "criminal organization"-- and nobody creates threads about that because the issues that are raised with that are somewhat different than those in the current one. Nobody lives in a vacuum, and quite a few (not all, maybe not even the majority) of the big unrests of the last decade have been associated or arisen with the extremist wings of Islam. 9/11 and the aftermath, the bombings in Spain, the killing of the politician in Holland, the problems in France with the hijab rules, the cartoon issue in Denmark, the bombings in Mumbai, the train bombings in the U.K and so on. It is difficult for most people to separate out what is "extremist Islam" from non-extremist, and given the preponderance of difficulties that most European nations have had in reconciling their ways of life with that of Islam, this vote really ought not to be a great surprise.

Thank you for a much more balanced post.

I agree with most of what you say but IMO now is the time that we need to embrace the MODERATE muslims rather than alienate them. If you want to preserve Swiss culture, nobody is stopping you but I don't think a blanket ban is the way to go.

There were many other ways to have produced the same effect such as limiting the number every xxx radius. That idea is not without its flaws but it shows some initiative that everyone is not against Islam but just being precautious. I'm sure a think-tank from the government could have come up with better solutions than what I propose as well.

Just as an example: I'm not sure if it was reported in the Western Media, but at least in India during the Mumbai attacks, the terrorists attacked because of the injustices caused in Kashmir by the Hindu's. It wasn't actually an attack on Westerners as was reported but was mainly because of the leverage that they provide. In the aftermath of all this, Muslims all around the country joined hands and showed unity in condemning such attacks. The Hindus joined them and begged so that politicians and opportunistic people wouldn't try to divide and rule like the Britishers had. Such action sends much more positive messages to the world. I know its ultimately a very small gesture since there still is a lot of distrust amongst the communities in India but every little counts.

Tommy_Vercetti
11-29-2009, 07:23 PM
You mean India still doesn't recognize and acknowledge that it was Britain's rule that finally unified the extremely fractured India and built it's infrastructure? Divide and rule? How despicable and revisionist.

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 07:23 PM
I love how different things are in Western countries as opposed to anywhere else in history. A country tries to maintain it's established laws and customs and they are intolerant and scary. Now in America, European settlers looking for a better life were butchered, tortured and scalped, yet those committing the atrocities are portrayed as the eternal victims for defending their land because they lost. Now the Swiss pass a law to stop invasion and destruction of their culture, which will happen in time and it's so terrible.

I would LOVE to see the reaction of the world if a group of Texans tortured, murdered and scalped some Mexicans coming here for a better life. You know, like the poor oppressed Indians use to do all the time. But it was their home right? Yet that doesn't seem to apply to Europeans who object to cultural extermination.

This is indeed the reality. The Swiss referenda in favor of immigrants, immigrants' rights and so on, they never make the news depicting Switzerland's tolerance and integration of foreigners. You hit the issue right on with your commen about "established laws and customs" -- many Swiss are desperately hopeful to avoid the problems of integration with some groups that other European countries have had, while still reaching out to help them make a new home in Switzerland. Many believe that with so many acts of tolerance and support (would you believe it, in a tiny country, with less than 5% of Muslims, there are over 200 mosques?), this one vote alone should not dominate the debate.

star
11-29-2009, 07:25 PM
During the run up to this referendum, I also learned about a similar situation in the U.S.



http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2004-03-08-mosque-opposition_x.htm

That story is from 2004. Although I think some of the opposition mentioned there stemed from predjudice, there have been other instances of local groups protesting the construction of large churches not just mosques in their neighborhoods. However, it would be impossible to have a nationwide law agaisnt the construction of minarets or any other religious symbol. It would be unconstitutional. Permits for construction are handled locally, and even then, they have to have some reason other than merely religon to deny construction. I'm not saying that permits aren't denied because of religon, but that can't be the stated reason.

I love how different things are in Western countries as opposed to anywhere else in history. A country tries to maintain it's established laws and customs and they are intolerant and scary. Now in America, European settlers looking for a better life were butchered, tortured and scalped, yet those committing the atrocities are portrayed as the eternal victims for defending their land because they lost. Now the Swiss pass a law to stop invasion and destruction of their culture, which will happen in time and it's so terrible.

I would LOVE to see the reaction of the world if a group of Texans tortured, murdered and scalped some Mexicans coming here for a better life. You know, like the poor oppressed Indians use to do all the time. But it was their home right? Yet that doesn't seem to apply to Europeans who object to cultural extermination.

Totally inapt analogy.

Granted, I agree that the Indian/European conflicts in the European settlement of the U.S. are generally misunderstood by Europeans and put in a modern context, I don't think what you are saying draws a fair analogy at all.

Tommy_Vercetti
11-29-2009, 07:28 PM
Not on the scale, yet. But why is that Europeans have to adapt and welcome immigrants and everyone else has the right to oppress and throw them out? And immigrants today face nothing close to the terror and violence that Europeans faced when they were the immigrants. That's the whole point. Going by how history treated the colonized in the past, the Swiss have the right to do anything to stop immigration, much less pass a law.

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 07:31 PM
That story is from 2004. Although I think some of the opposition mentioned there stemed from predjudice, there have been other instances of local groups protesting the construction of large churches not just mosques in their neighborhoods. However, it would be impossible to have a nationwide law agaisnt the construction of minarets or any other religious symbol. It would be unconstitutional. Permits for construction are handled locally, and even then, they have to have some reason other than merely religon to deny construction. I'm not saying that permits aren't denied because of religon, but that can't be the stated reason.


Yes I know, but what are you implying then... that the tolerance for Muslims has risen since then? I have no hard evidence, but my reading of the news suggests that it probably has not.

It is easy to deny based on so many reasons that people can lie even if truthfully they are denying purely due to the specific religion -- opposition to any religious structure, property value erosion, loudness (in the case of certain early morning religious calls), etc.

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 07:35 PM
You mean India still doesn't recognize and acknowledge that it was Britain's rule that finally unified the extremely fractured India and built it's infrastructure? Divide and rule? How despicable and revisionist.

Yes Britain is responsible for a lot of India's current infrastructure but to say that India was unified because of Britain?

It is common fact that Britain used divide and rule so as to keep themselves in power in the country. No doubt the tensions were already there but such tactics exacerbated them further. It wasn't like Britain was doing a huge favour by coming to India. It was completely out of self-interest and if you think anything else you are deluded.

And the analogy to the American Indians and Europeans doesn't apply here. Times have changed and I am not talking about welcoming with open arms any terrorists or safe havens for such. If there are groups operating within such then go ahead and close them. This ban however doesn't reach the crux of the issue but just another thing that will cause problems.

We already live in a volatile world and by closing barriers completely we are just making things more difficult for the future. I hope that the US shuts down all immigration and barriers and becomes a closed state as the majority of them clearly want that. I know I for one am happy I have a good life back home and returning back in four months after completing my graduation.

star
11-29-2009, 07:38 PM
Not on the scale, yet. But why is that Europeans have to adapt and welcome immigrants and everyone else has the right to oppress and throw them out? And immigrants today face nothing close to the terror and violence that Europeans faced when they were the immigrants. That's the whole point. Going by how history treated the colonized in the past, the Swiss have the right to do anything to stop immigration, much less pass a law.

I agree that the Swiss can ban immigration completely should they choose to do so, and, of course, limit immigration should they choose to do so. Actually, it's totally up to them how they run their country. However, that doesn't mean others can't criticsize.

I think U.S. citizens traditionally, have had a love/hate relationship about immigrants. Nearly all of us are descended from immigrants -- some more willing than others -- and have a pride in the courage and perseverance of their ancestors, the established citizenry historically has not welcomed others who they saw as "different." That still goes on today.

It seems to me that European nations are dealing with immigration issues that the U.S. has dealt with for sometime. I think diversity is a concept that is difficult for most to embrace.

Rosa Luxembourg
11-29-2009, 07:39 PM
not sure whether I have a formed opinion as I understand arguments both ways. I do think though that if someone decided to build a replica of Cologne Cathderal in Rhyadh, that wouldn't go well with locals. And then Europeans would have been all over it.......... It's like a vicious circle.

star
11-29-2009, 07:45 PM
Yes I know, but what are you implying then... that the tolerance for Muslims has risen since then? I have no hard evidence, but my reading of the news suggests that it probably has not.

It is easy to deny based on so many reasons that people can lie even if truthfully they are denying purely due to the specific religion -- opposition to any religious structure, property value erosion, loudness (in the case of certain early morning religious calls), etc.

Sorry not to be clear. If you need to go back to 2004 to find a news story about some local opposition to the building of mosques, it's a little difficult to believe that this is a huge issue. I also don't see it as analogous to what happened in Switzerland. I'm not saying that the voters in the U.S. wouldn't vote for such a ban, but only that the law would be unconstitutional. I think it's a good thing to have constitutional edict banning the state from interfering with religon.

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 07:50 PM
I agree that the Swiss can ban immigration completely should they choose to do so, and, of course, limit immigration should they choose to do so. Actually, it's totally up to them how they run their country. However, that doesn't mean others can't criticsize.

I think U.S. citizens traditionally, have had a love/hate relationship about immigrants. Nearly all of us are descended from immigrants -- some more willing than others -- and have a pride in the courage and perseverance of their ancestors, the established citizenry historically has not welcomed others who they saw as "different." That still goes on today.

It seems to me that European nations are dealing with immigration issues that the U.S. has dealt with for sometime. I think diversity is a concept that is difficult for most to embrace.

Every country has every right to do what they please and in this case 57% of the citizens voted against it. But is it necessarily good?

I think immigration is essentially a double edged sword. You tend to lose your culture along the way but it isn't like culture was ever stable. Europeans moved to the US, Australia, South Africa and Asia and now each of them have their own individual culture. Is it anything like the origins? No, it has become a mixture of people from various backgrounds living together until it became unified.

My main issue with this ban is that it seems farcical. It doesn't seem like they are against cultural homogenity but rather against Muslims in general. A Minaret sounds like something of zero significance to me personally.

I could be wrong however and if so, I will gladly say so. But as of now this ban has more undertones of discrimination than genuine concern for "culture".

Tommy_Vercetti
11-29-2009, 07:52 PM
It wasn't like Britain was doing a huge favour by coming to India. It was completely out of self-interest and if you think anything else you are deluded.

Of course it was in self-interest. It's not mutually exclusive for one nation's self-interest to benefit another. And India was nothing more than a divided nation ruled by so many different despots until the English came an organized the country. And certainly, they used certain divisions to help eliminate the biggest threats to them, but in the end their organization is what established a unified India that was nowhere remotely close when the Raj started.

I'm not speaking of you specifically, but it never ceases to amaze me when people use the word "self-interest" as such a negative thing in politics. Who's interest should a nation act in? Why would you ever want to live in a country that didn't act in it's own self-interest? I can't tell you how many times people have said something like "The Americans just acting in their own self-interest" and I just burst out laughing. Who's interest should we be acting on? It makes no sense.

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 07:55 PM
not sure whether I have a formed opinion as I understand arguments both ways. I do think though that if someone decided to build a replica of Cologne Cathderal in Rhyadh, that wouldn't go well with locals. And then Europeans would have been all over it.......... It's like a vicious circle.

Well said and I think there in lies the issue. The world is just going in a vicious cycle if not broken will lead to disastrous consequences.

I also agree that a cathedral in Riyadh might not be well received by locals but do we really need to follow an "eye for an eye" strategy?

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 08:03 PM
I'm not speaking of you specifically, but it never ceases to amaze me when people use the word "self-interest" as such a negative thing in politics. Who's interest should a nation act in? Why would you ever want to live in a country that didn't act in it's own self-interest? I can't tell you how many times people have said something like "The American just acting in their own self-interest" and I just burst out laughing. Who's interest should we be acting on? It makes no sense.

I think the term "self-interest" can be used in different context's. There is no doubt that every country will obviously work for their own people and betterment and there is nothing wrong with it. I would laugh as well if someone said it negatively in that context.

But I've heard many arguments suggesting that Western countries are the saviours of the world and do it out of humanity. In that respect I laugh because it is out of self-interest rather than being genuinely concerned.

Out of curiosity, are you against immigration as a whole or just for the uneducated cheap labour migrants? I would have thought that the US being founded on immigration wouldn't mind being open to such if they were adding value. And as I said earlier culture is relatively fleeting.

With globalisation does any country really have any culture? I think rather than the other way around, it is more of the developing world losing their culture with multinational companies and Western ideologies being spread. I stay in Mumbai and am lucky enough to travel the world since I was a child. Rather than seeing the US or Europe having changed I see more of Western culture in India, the UAE, China etc.

zeleni
11-29-2009, 08:03 PM
Islam isn't only religion, but political program as well with strong and rather explicit social doctrine (which includes Sharia law system, for example). Peoples who lived in states with Islamic rule know that. Today, non-Muslim communities in countries with Muslim majority can confirm that.

So this decision isn't so stupid.

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 08:07 PM
Islam isn't only religion, but political program as well with strong and rather explicit social doctrine (which includes Sharia law system, for example). Peoples who lived in states with Islamic rule know that. Today, non-Muslim communities in countries with Muslim majority can confirm that.

So this decision isn't so stupid.

We aren't arguing the validity of the religion here but rather the significance of such a ban.

I would vehemently support and it wouldn't even be a discussion if they were banning sharia law from coming into place. I truly believe in not mixing religion with politics but I don't particularly see why such a ban was necessary.

zeleni
11-29-2009, 08:12 PM
We aren't arguing the validity of the religion here but rather the significance of such a ban.
Mosque isn't only place for pray, but also political institution.

I would vehemently support and it wouldn't even be a discussion if they were banning sharia law from coming into place. I truly believe in not mixing religion with politics but I don't particularly see why such a ban was necessary.

You are free to believe in whatever you want, but religion and politics DO mix, especially in Islam.

Rosa Luxembourg
11-29-2009, 08:13 PM
Well said and I think there in lies the issue. The world is just going in a vicious cycle if not broken will lead to disastrous consequences.

I also agree that a cathedral in Riyadh might not be well received by locals but do we really need to follow an "eye for an eye" strategy?


Unfortunately, "turning the other cheek" strategy hasn't been successful so far either. So I don't know the answer to your question :shrug:

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 08:22 PM
Unfortunately, "turning the other cheek" strategy hasn't been successful so far either. So I don't know the answer to your question :shrug:

I think maybe I'm too idealistic.

I think we have gone on a tangent here and moved onto Islam as terrorism. If that really is the issue, what are we solving by banning Minarets? Muslims are still allowed to have mosques and practice their religion.

I honestly believe that by making such moves we are giving more fodder for the extremists to chew on and turn the Middle East into a more volatile place. This issue is ultimately pretty minor but has the potential to get blown up (no pun intended).

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 08:23 PM
Mosque isn't only place for pray, but also political institution.



You are free to believe in whatever you want, but religion and politics DO mix, especially in Islam.

Well unfortunately for you, practicing Islam and mosques aren't banned but just this form of architecture is.

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 08:29 PM
I applaud the Swiss. Countries have a right to try to maintain their culture. I the case of the Swiss, it is not a new culture but one that spans centuries. Why should they be required to 1.) allow in immigrants from ANY country; 2.) allow immigrants in who refuse to assimilate to Swiss culture; 3.) adapt their own country and culture to a foreign one?

The Swiss aren't invading anyone, they have no obligations to make way for any immigrant group or culture that refuses to fit into and assimilate into Swiss society, which at it's core is culturally and religiously Catholic and Protestant. Islam has demonstrated time and time again that its aim is not to encourage a private religion - as is the case, arguably, with Swiss Jews, Hindus, and Orthodox Christians - but to seize the handles of power and impose a new law and social order over Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The strategies are war, immigration, and a high birth rate, and the aim is to use these demographic transformations to effect political change.

The minaret is a symbol of Islamic expansion and Islamic domiance. It goes beyond the private devotion a Muslim might make by going to a mosque and praying. It seeks to dominate the sound-space of the surrounding community - both Muslim and non-Muslim, with the azan.

You will say that church bells do the same thing for Christian cultures. True, but then again, why shouldn't the Swiss - a Christian culture - be allowed to maintain their own culture and religion as they see fit? Nobody begrudges Muslim minarets and prayer calls in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Morocco, etc. However, these countries are considerably less tolerant of their Christian minorities, which in many cases PREDATE the Muslim religion itself, and these is no toleration for church bells, church steeples, proselytism, or conversion from Islam to Christianity.

It's high time (culturally) Christian Europeans said enough is enough, this is who we are, and if you want to immigrate into our country, you will abide by our laws and assimilate into our culture, or you are not welcome.

star
11-29-2009, 08:30 PM
Mosque isn't only place for pray, but also political institution.



You are free to believe in whatever you want, but religion and politics DO mix, especially in Islam.

Yes, the Koran does put a lot of focus on the community, but somehow Muslims seem to be able to keep their faith and flourish in societies that are secular, so it seems to me that it is not a necessity in the religon for the state to adopt Islamic law. It is always somewhat of a struggle for a minority religon in any society dominated by a majority religon. And, of course, Islam is not monolithic. There are branches that are more extreme and others that are more mystical and inner focused -- Sufis as an example.

I don't think there is any way to ban ideas or faith. Even if the state banned all muslim places of worship, faithful would still gather. There are few sucessful exterminations of religon by force, and I think almost no examples of successful extermination of any major religon. I find most muslims, whether devout or fairly secular, to have a reverence for their faith.

star
11-29-2009, 08:37 PM
It's high time (culturally) Christian Europeans said enough is enough, this is who we are, and if you want to immigrate into our country, you will abide by our laws and assimilate into our culture, or you are not welcome.

It seems to me then that a more sensible approach would be to have an immigration law that allowed only atheiests or christians to immigrate.

Not that I endorse your position at all.

I think it's unreasonable to allow people to immigrate into your country and then say that they can't worship in their faith. And is Europe all Christian or secular anyway? Aren't their different religons in Europe? Would it be ok for a predominantly catholic nation to disallow protestants their churches? Or vice versa. Is it ok to worship in a synagogue?

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 08:40 PM
Yes, the Koran does put a lot of focus on the community, but somehow Muslims seem to be able to keep their faith and flourish in societies that are secular, so it seems to me that it is not a necessity in the religon for the state to adopt Islamic law. It is always somewhat of a struggle for a minority religon in any society dominated by a majority religon. And, of course, Islam is not monolithic. There are branches that are more extreme and others that are more mystical and inner focused -- Sufis as an example.

I don't think there is any way to ban ideas or faith. Even if the state banned all muslim places of worship, faithful would still gather. There are few sucessful exterminations of religon by force, and I think almost no examples of successful extermination of any major religon. I find most muslims, whether devout or fairly secular, to have a reverence for their faith.

Look at any country in which Islam is the majority religion and you will see that Islam is institutionalized into the law of that country. Christians, Jews, and Hindus in these countries enjoy far fewer rights of worship, religious expression, and even the most basic human rights, as compared to Muslims.

Look at any country or territory with a large Muslim minority or a plurality, e.g. Bosnia, Lebanon, and Xijaing-Uighur, and you will see that there are intense political frictions with the non-Muslims, often aiming to overthrow a secular government and assert political domination by Muslims.

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 08:51 PM
Look at any country in which Islam is the majority religion and you will see that Islam is institutionalized into the law of that country. Christians, Jews, and Hindus in these countries enjoy far fewer rights of worship, religious expression, and even the most basic human rights, as compared to Muslims.

Look at any country or territory with a large Muslim minority or a plurality, e.g. Bosnia, Lebanon, and Xijaing-Uighur, and you will see that there are intense political frictions with the non-Muslims, often aiming to overthrow a secular government and assert political domination by Muslims.

It is indisputable that minorities in Islamic countries have far fewer rights. But there are exceptional cases like Malaysia. It still isn't ideal but far more tolerant. Which begs us the question why? I think development and good governance plays a huge role. Which is why I think more positive means of reinforcement should be preferred rather than outcasting an entire section of the world. We need to remember that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world with 25% of the worlds population currently.

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 08:51 PM
It seems to me then that a more sensible approach would be to have an immigration law that allowed only atheiests or christians to immigrate.

Not that I endorse your position at all.

I think it's unreasonable to allow people to immigrate into your country and then say that they can't worship in their faith. And is Europe all Christian or secular anyway? Aren't their different religons in Europe? Would it be ok for a predominantly catholic nation to disallow protestants their churches? Or vice versa. Is it ok to worship in a synagogue?

The difference is that the minaret and call to prayer projects beyond the privacy of the mosque into the public street. In the US there have been attempts to stamp out religious overtones of Christmas and Easter, and usually these appeals are brought forth by the ACLU and/or Jewish groups. Creches and cross-displays for these holidays have been systematically attacked, and I think that is wrong. While I do not begrudge Jews displaying menorahs in their shop windows or Muslims wearing a veil, I know full well that if Islam became the majority religion in the US, Muslims would not extend the hand of "tolerance" towards Christians and Christian expression as the current Christian/secular system has done towards Muslims.

I am thus NOT a fan of Muslim immigration or demographic expansion in the US, because I have no confidence that they will continue to uphold the secular state and freedom of religious and other forms of expression. Looking at Israel, which is admittedly much better than Muslim countries, I am not confident, either, that a Jewish dominated state would be friendly to non-Jewish people.

It is solely in the post-enlightenment Catholic/Protestant Europe and North America that religious (and political) expression is so free. The secular state is ultimately a product of Western Christianity, and I support freedom of religion and religious expression, within the confines of not encroaching on the cultural dominance of the majority. The US is a majority Western Christian society and I want Western Christianity to dominate the cultural sphere of this country - not Islam, Hinduism, or Judaism. It just so happens that while Judaism and Hinduism are content to mind their own business in this country and in Europe, Islam has strong aspirations of hijacking political control of these states and instituting sharia.

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 08:59 PM
It is indisputable that minorities in Islamic countries have far fewer rights. But there are exceptional cases like Malaysia. It still isn't ideal but far more tolerant. Which begs us the question why? I think development and good governance plays a huge role. Which is why I think more positive means of reinforcement should be preferred rather than outcasting an entire section of the world. We need to remember that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world with 25% of the worlds population currently.

I don't care if they are the fastest growing religion. This is due in large part to their persecutions and pressures on non-Muslims, peaceful proselytism of disenfranchised peoples (which is OK), and high birthrate.

Let them stay in their own countries and celebrate a Muslim dominated society. They already have parts of the Indian subcontinent, most of central Asia, all of the Middle East, and North Africa. They are not under any pressures of space to expand.

I prefer Western society - the society that gave us Beethoven, the Renaissance, Byzantine art, Chopin, Newton, Tolstoy, van Gogh, etc. to continue to exist without the pressures of a culture that disapproves of religious and secular musical expression and dance, disapproves of huge swathes of Western art, disapproves of much of Western literature, disapproves of the secular state and religious expression for all - taking over and dominating this society.

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 09:07 PM
I don't care if they are the fastest growing religion. This is due in large part to their persecutions and pressures on non-Muslims, peaceful proselytism of disenfranchised peoples (which is OK), and high birthrate.

Let them stay in their own countries and celebrate a Muslim dominated society. They already have parts of the Indian subcontinent, most of central Asia, all of the Middle East, and North Africa. They are not under any pressures of space to expand.

I prefer Western society - the society that gave us Beethoven, the Renaissance, Byzantine art, Chopin, Newton, Tolstoy, van Gogh, etc. to continue to exist without the pressures of a culture that disapproves of religious and secular musical expression and dance, disapproves of huge swathes of Western art, disapproves of much of Western literature, disapproves of the secular state and religious expression for all - taking over and dominating this society.

My point wasn't that just because they are the fastest growing that they are better or that you should adopt them.

But, if by certain policies and acts, you enrage or disenfranchise such a large portion of the worlds population, you make yourself vulnerable to attacks even more so. Just by kicking the Muslims out of the country, you don't necessarily eradicate yourself of the issue. It is more of a blindfold than a permanent solution.

abraxas21
11-29-2009, 09:07 PM
I don't care if they are the fastest growing religion. This is due in large part to their persecutions and pressures on non-Muslims, peaceful proselytism of disenfranchised peoples (which is OK), and high birthrate.

Let them stay in their own countries and celebrate a Muslim dominated society. They already have parts of the Indian subcontinent, most of central Asia, all of the Middle East, and North Africa. They are not under any pressures of space to expand.

I prefer Western society - the society that gave us Beethoven, the Renaissance, Byzantine art, Chopin, Newton, Tolstoy, van Gogh, etc. to continue to exist without the pressures of a culture that disapproves of religious and secular musical expression and dance, disapproves of huge swathes of Western art, disapproves of much of Western literature, disapproves of the secular state and religious expression for all - taking over and dominating this society.


oh, my. you're a bigot, pure and simply.

the vast majority muslim immigrants are peaceful individuals who simply want to be respected and lead a decent and honest life. you think as if they were all savages who want to impose their own values on others and/or destroy your culture without reflecting that your own prejudices and generalizations are what the ingredients that actually promt your speech.
i totally agree with midnight ninja, banning minarets is a horrible and intolerant idea that should have no place in what's supposed to be a democratic nation.

a little advice to the readers of this site, stop watching Fox News so much. It won't make you any smarter.

star
11-29-2009, 09:10 PM
The difference is that the minaret and call to prayer projects beyond the privacy of the mosque into the public street.

But, in Switzerland those calls weren't allowed anyway.

In the US there have been attempts to stamp out religious overtones of Christmas and Easter, and usually these appeals are brought forth by the ACLU and/or Jewish groups. Creches and cross-displays for these holidays have been systematically attacked, and I think that is wrong. While I do not begrudge Jews displaying menorahs in their shop windows or Muslims wearing a veil, I know full well that if Islam became the majority religion in the US, Muslims would not extend the hand of "tolerance" towards Christians and Christian expression as the current Christian/secular system has done towards Muslims.

That may be true, but it in no way is an argument for abolishing religous tolerance in the U.S. I like our country's tolerance for religon. Although, you might see that there is a systematic attack on Christianity in the U.S., I see that Christianity is flourishing and in no way diminished. There are many decisions upholding the display of religious symbols on public grounds. In fact I can walk a block right now and see a Christmas tree outside our government building in this town.

I am thus NOT a fan of Muslim immigration or demographic expansion in the US, because I have no confidence that they will continue to uphold the secular state and freedom of religious and other forms of expression. Looking at Israel, which is admittedly much better than Muslim countries, I am not confident, either, that a Jewish dominated state would be friendly to non-Jewish people.

I see this as even more of a reason for Christian dominated societies to be tolerant.

It is solely in the post-enlightenment Catholic/Protestant Europe and North America that religious (and political) expression is so free. The secular state is ultimately a product of Western Christianity, and I support freedom of religion and religious expression, within the confines of not encroaching on the cultural dominance of the majority. The US is a majority Western Christian society and I want Western Christianity to dominate the cultural sphere of this country - not Islam, Hinduism, or Judaism. It just so happens that while Judaism and Hinduism are content to mind their own business in this country and in Europe, Islam has strong aspirations of hijacking political control of these states and instituting sharia.

Yes. I understand your argument. We have the same arguments in the U.S. People are quite able to be tolerant of black people so long as black people aren't in the majority or even a huge minority. I don't see this as true tolerance.

I also understand that historically extremism has won out over tolerance. Pagans tolerance was overcome by Christian extremism. However, I want to live in a society that is tolerant, so I will be extreme in that position.

star
11-29-2009, 09:12 PM
oh, my. you're a bigot, pure and simply.

the vast majority muslim immigrants are peaceful individuals who simply want to be respected and lead a decent and honest life. you think as if they were all savages who want to impose their own values on others and/or destroy your culture without reflecting that your own prejudices and generalizations are what the ingredients that actually promt your speech.
i totally agree with midnight ninja, banning minarets is a horrible and intolerant idea that should have no place in what's supposed to be a democratic nation.

a little advice to the readers of this site, stop watching Fox News so much. It won't make you any smarter.

A thousand times yes. How twisted we have become to think that Muslims are all terrorists or extremists.

abraxas21
11-29-2009, 09:14 PM
I love how different things are in Western countries as opposed to anywhere else in history. A country tries to maintain it's established laws and customs and they are intolerant and scary. Now in America, European settlers looking for a better life were butchered, tortured and scalped, yet those committing the atrocities are portrayed as the eternal victims for defending their land because they lost. Now the Swiss pass a law to stop invasion and destruction of their culture, which will happen in time and it's so terrible.

I would LOVE to see the reaction of the world if a group of Texans tortured, murdered and scalped some Mexicans coming here for a better life. You know, like the poor oppressed Indians use to do all the time. But it was their home right? Yet that doesn't seem to apply to Europeans who object to cultural extermination.

yeah, nevermind that the european colonizers killed about 1000 as more indians than the other way around and forced the rest to live in confined reserves.

but let's talk as if the genocide of indians had never happened and that the colonizers were simply trying to protect themselves from the evil and violent indians.

seriosly, man, get a grip.

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 09:14 PM
My point wasn't that just because they are the fastest growing that they are better or that you should adopt them.

But, if by certain policies and acts, you enrage or disenfranchise such a large portion of the worlds population, you make yourself vulnerable to attacks even more so. Just by kicking the Muslims out of the country, you don't necessarily eradicate yourself of the issue. It is more of a blindfold than a permanent solution.

I did not say to kick out. I did say to clamp down on immigration. Switzerland has a right to prefer immigrants from Western Europe > immigrants from Eastern Europe > Muslims > whoever. In fact, Switzerland has a right to allow in immigrants only from Mongolia and nowhere else. It's their right to determine their immigration and citizenship policy and I don't care to meddle with it. Why are YOU trying to determine how the Swiss order their society. Are they murdering or persecuting anyone (which is what is happening to a good many non-Muslims in Muslim countries)? No. So leave them be. If they don't care for minarets, that's their right. Muslims are free to worship in mosques, to proselytize non-Muslims, to distribute religious literature publicly, etc. They have 1000X the rights of a Christian or Jew or Hindu in Saudi Arabia.

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 09:19 PM
But, in Switzerland those calls weren't allowed anyway.



That may be true, but it in no way is an argument for abolishing religous tolerance in the U.S. I like our country's tolerance for religon. Although, you might see that there is a systematic attack on Christianity in the U.S., I see that Christianity is flourishing and in no way diminished. There are many decisions upholding the display of religious symbols on public grounds. In fact I can walk a block right now and see a Christmas tree outside our government building in this town.



I see this as even more of a reason for Christian dominated societies to be tolerant.



Yes. I understand your argument. We have the same arguments in the U.S. People are quite able to be tolerant of black people so long as black people aren't in the majority or even a huge minority. I don't see this as true tolerance.

I also understand that historically extremism has won out over tolerance. Pagans tolerance was overcome by Christian extremism. However, I want to live in a society that is tolerant, so I will be extreme in that position.

It is in the interests of a Christian/post-Christian dominant society to remain so, because to give up political dominance to another religious group is to entrust long-cherished rights to a group that may not consider them rights at all.

Pagans weren't particularly tolerant. They were just as intolerant as Christians and others, seeing as how Christianity was a persecuted religion for the first few centuries.

Finally, Christian dominated societies are refugees for people who will accept the cultural values of these societies as the political norm. Nobody says non-Christian immigrants are not welcome unless they convert. But people whose aim is to outpopulate the Christian/post-Christian majority and impose a new political vision that reflects the religious and political values of the new majority (in this case Islam) are NOT welcome.

Midnight Ninja
11-29-2009, 09:21 PM
I did not say to kick out. I did say to clamp down on immigration. Switzerland has a right to prefer immigrants from Western Europe > immigrants from Eastern Europe > Muslims > whoever. In fact, Switzerland has a right to allow in immigrants only from Mongolia and nowhere else. It's their right to determine their immigration and citizenship policy and I don't care to meddle with it. Why are YOU trying to determine how the Swiss order their society. Are they murdering or persecuting anyone (which is what is happening to a good many non-Muslims in Muslim countries)? No. So leave them be. If they don't care for minarets, that's their right. Muslims are free to worship in mosques, to proselytize non-Muslims, to distribute religious literature publicly, etc. They have 1000X the rights of a Christian or Jew or Hindu in Saudi Arabia.

Where did I ever say that they do not have the right to do so? It's their country and I'm not a citizen so obviously I have no say.

Does that mean I cannot form an opinion about the matter? I thought one of the tenets of a democratic free society was the freedom of speech?

And I hate how everybody here thinks that two wrongs make a right.

buddyholly
11-29-2009, 09:21 PM
Can anyone answer if the minarets would be used for prayer calls? If so, I say ban them. There is already too much noise pollution. Do they have a purpose other than disturbing the peace?

Or let them be built, but the first time that dreadful wailing emanates from a minaret, demolish it and charge the mosque for the demolition.

buddyholly
11-29-2009, 09:25 PM
a little advice to the readers of this site, stop watching Fox News so much. It won't make you any smarter.

I don't need your advice thank you. Your post is typical of the immature left that is intolerant of what it percieves to be politically correct thinking.

By watching a spectrum of channels you can only be better informed.

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 09:29 PM
oh, my. you're a bigot, pure and simply.

the vast majority muslim immigrants are peaceful individuals who simply want to be respected and lead a decent and honest life. you think as if they were all savages who want to impose their own values on others and/or destroy your culture without reflecting that your own prejudices and generalizations are what the ingredients that actually promt your speech.
i totally agree with midnight ninja, banning minarets is a horrible and intolerant idea that should have no place in what's supposed to be a democratic nation.

a little advice to the readers of this site, stop watching Fox News so much. It won't make you any smarter.

I don't watch Fox News. i base my analyses on a knowledge of current events and history.

While historically many Christian societies were just as intolerant, if not more so, as Islam, the current Christian/post-Christian societies are the most tolerant on the planet.

Importantly, the Christian religious text - the New Testament being paramount - does not endorse persecution of non-Christians. Thus, a return towards real fundamentalism, i.e. textually based, does NOT encourage intolerance to other religions.

In contrast, the Islamic religious text - the Koran and especially Hadiths - codifies legal humiliation, subjugation, and persecution of Christians, Jews, and "pagans" (i.e. Hindus, Zoroastrians, and others - who get it worse than Christians and Jews). Any return to real fundamentalism is by definition going to involve intolerance to other religions. Sharia represents that.

buddyholly
11-29-2009, 09:32 PM
In the US there have been attempts to stamp out religious overtones of Christmas and Easter, and usually these appeals are brought forth by the ACLU and/or Jewish groups. Creches and cross-displays for these holidays have been systematically attacked, and I think that is wrong.

Stamp out? You make it sound like a religious crusade. Of course taxpayer money should not be used for to display symbols of belief in the supernatural by preferred cults. If you have any examples of the ACLU trying to stomp out individual freedom of expression, post them here.

star
11-29-2009, 09:42 PM
yeah, nevermind that the european colonizers killed about 1000 as more indians than the other way around and forced the rest to live in confined reserves.

but let's talk as if the genocide of indians had never happened and that the colonizers were simply trying to protect themselves from the evil and violent indians.

seriosly, man, get a grip.

Do you really think that native americans are not allowed to live outside of reservations?

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 09:43 PM
Stamp out? You make it sound like a religious crusade. Of course taxpayer money should not be used for to display symbols of belief in the supernatural by preferred cults. If you have any examples of the ACLU trying to stomp out individual freedom of expression, post them here.

The point is, in NYC schools, the ACLU sees menorah displays and stars and crescents as "cultural," so they can be taught and displayed in classrooms as pedagogic, whereas Christian displays are reviled as religious and systematically removed.

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 09:46 PM
Sorry not to be clear. If you need to go back to 2004 to find a news story about some local opposition to the building of mosques, it's a little difficult to believe that this is a huge issue. I also don't see it as analogous to what happened in Switzerland. I'm not saying that the voters in the U.S. wouldn't vote for such a ban, but only that the law would be unconstitutional. I think it's a good thing to have constitutional edict banning the state from interfering with religon.

Well, no, the point was to illustrate that the latent resistance to visible signs of the religion existed elsewhere. Since there is no recourse for a public vote on such matters in the U.S., it is basically anybody's guess as to what the views are for similar matters.
My own principles also gel well with constitutional bans on mixing state with religion. But the enforcement is not very vigilant in the U.S if I understand some of the health care debate and debate about what's taught in schools, correctly. So, good in principle, but maybe not that great in practice.

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 09:50 PM
Can anyone answer if the minarets would be used for prayer calls? If so, I say ban them. There is already too much noise pollution. Do they have a purpose other than disturbing the peace?

Or let them be built, but the first time that dreadful wailing emanates from a minaret, demolish it and charge the mosque for the demolition.

It can't be known for sure that they would be used for prayer calls.

Let's be honest, though. What do you think is more inflammatory? Not building them in the first place, or building them and having the audacity to even suggest the demolition of a part of an Islam place of worship?

Btw, in Switzerland there are strict laws in some places about noise so much so that .... in certain places where apartments are clustered densely together, you can have an official complaint against you for flushing your toilet (the noise maker) between the hours of X and Y. In Zuri, if you have ever flown in, you'll notice that flights don't arrive before the ungodly hour of X, because of the possibility of disturbance. So, it's not at all inconsistent to prevent the possibility of having a religious call that might similarly be a disturbance to those not observing said religion.

star
11-29-2009, 09:50 PM
In contrast, the Islamic religious text - the Koran and especially Hadiths - codifies legal humiliation, subjugation, and persecution of Christians, Jews, and "pagans" (i.e. Hindus, Zoroastrians, and others - who get it worse than Christians and Jews). Any return to real fundamentalism is by definition going to involve intolerance to other religions. Sharia represents that.

That's a twisting of the Koran and ignores the many passages that embrace "people of the book" meaning Jews and Christians.

Also you ignore the fact that when Jews were persecuted in Christian Europe they sought refuge and were welcomed in Islamic countries.

In fact, up until the last 40 or 50 years, Christians and Jews lived (as well as other minor sects) lived peaceably in dominant Muslim societies. It only in recent times that there has been a trend to eliminating other religons in these societies. I don't claim that members of these religons lived on an equal basis with the muslim citizens, but they were not persecuted.

However, I can see that you have your opinions that Muslims are bound and determined to take over Western society and are using immigration and childbirth as the means to do so. I won't change your mind.

star
11-29-2009, 09:56 PM
Well, no, the point was to illustrate that the latent resistance to visible signs of the religion existed elsewhere. Since there is no recourse for a public vote on such matters in the U.S., it is basically anybody's guess as to what the views are for similar matters.
My own principles also gel well with constitutional bans on mixing state with religion. But the enforcement is not very vigilant in the U.S if I understand some of the health care debate and debate about what's taught in schools, correctly. So, good in principle, but maybe not that great in practice.

Of course, religon is going to influence a person's values. Then those values are going to have an influence on what one wants to have happen in the public arena. That's unavoidable. What is prohibited is to make a law that disfavors or favors a particular religon. Personally, I think that the ridiculous position that evolution should not be taught in the schools is a result of religous activism. I deplore it, but on the other hand I wouldn't want to ban people of a certain religous persuasion from voting for school board members.

It can't be known for sure that they would be used for prayer calls.

I thought that Switzerland did not allow prayer calls anyway even though there were minarets. How would the building of new minarets affect that?

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 10:04 PM
That's a twisting of the Koran and ignores the many passages that embrace "people of the book" meaning Jews and Christians.

Also you ignore the fact that when Jews were persecuted in Christian Europe they sought refuge and were welcomed in Islamic countries.

In fact, up until the last 40 or 50 years, Christians and Jews lived (as well as other minor sects) lived peaceably in dominant Muslim societies. It only in recent times that there has been a trend to eliminating other religons in these societies. I don't claim that members of these religons lived on an equal basis with the muslim citizens, but they were not persecuted.

However, I can see that you have your opinions that Muslims are bound and determined to take over Western society and are using immigration and childbirth as the means to do so. I won't change your mind.

1.) It is not twisting anything. There are numerous texts in Islam descrying Christians and Jews as perverters of the truth, idolators and polytheists (Christians, especially), and the like.

2.) I did not ignore Christian persecution of Jews. The Ottomans allowed Jews into the Ottoman empire partially because they sought to dilute Greek (Orthodox Christian) economic might. They imported Spanish Jews particularly to Thessaloniki and expelled the native Greeks.

3.) They did not live "peaceably" in Muslim societies. They lived in a state of persecution. The native Christian Copts of Egypt have seen a precipitous decline in their numbers and institutional discrimination by Arab Muslims. The Christians of the Ottoman empire were eliminated in several waves of genocidal violence - first the Armenians, then the Assyrians and Greeks. There are many other examples in more distant history, of course, but Islamic violence against Christians and Jews (peaceful native people, not invaders, mind you) has a long history. It did not begin with the founding of the State of Israel.

4.) That is exactly what I think and I believe future developments over the next few years and decades will persuade you of the same.

star
11-29-2009, 10:09 PM
Every country has every right to do what they please and in this case 57% of the citizens voted against it. But is it necessarily good?

I think immigration is essentially a double edged sword. You tend to lose your culture along the way but it isn't like culture was ever stable. Europeans moved to the US, Australia, South Africa and Asia and now each of them have their own individual culture. Is it anything like the origins? No, it has become a mixture of people from various backgrounds living together until it became unified.

My main issue with this ban is that it seems farcical. It doesn't seem like they are against cultural homogenity but rather against Muslims in general. A Minaret sounds like something of zero significance to me personally.

I could be wrong however and if so, I will gladly say so. But as of now this ban has more undertones of discrimination than genuine concern for "culture".

I missed this post earlier.

Yes, I agree. "Culture" is an evolving thing. Some resist the evolution and want things to be the way they always were or at least the way they imagine it to have been.

I think what the voters were saying was: "We are afraid of you and what you might do. We don't accept you as part of us."

As for me, I love the call to prayer. I think it is beautiful. I also like church bells -- the louder the better. However, I can also understand that some people like neither of them and find them disruptive.

star
11-29-2009, 10:20 PM
1.) It is not twisting anything. There are numerous texts in Islam descrying Christians and Jews as perverters of the truth, idolators and polytheists (Christians, especially), and the like.

2.) I did not ignore Christian persecution of Jews. The Ottomans allowed Jews into the Ottoman empire partially because they sought to dilute Greek (Orthodox Christian) economic might. They imported Spanish Jews particularly to Thessaloniki and expelled the native Greeks.

3.) They did not live "peaceably" in Muslim societies. They lived in a state of persecution. The native Christian Copts of Egypt have seen a precipitous decline in their numbers and institutional discrimination by Arab Muslims. The Christians of the Ottoman empire were eliminated in several waves of genocidal violence - first the Armenians, then the Assyrians and Greeks. There are many other examples in more distant history, of course, but Islamic violence against Christians and Jews (peaceful native people, not invaders, mind you) has a long history. It did not begin with the founding of the State of Israel.

4.) That is exactly what I think and I believe future developments over the next few years and decades will persuade you of the same.

The discrimination against Copts is of recent origin. By recent, I mean the last 50 years or so. Before that, the Copts were the ruling elite in Egypt. Also in Lebanon, the Christians were a ruling elite.

Jews also escaped to Sicily where they lived peacably under Muslim rule until the Muslims were driven out. And also the reason that Jews had to escape in such great numbers from the Spanish empire was that they had immigrated there in great numbers during the Muslim rule in Spain because the Muslim rule (although not without discrimination) was more benevolent than the restrictions in Christian areas. I could go on about the tremendous influence of Jews in these societies.

My point is a simple one. There is nothing fundamental in the Koran that directs persecution of Jews or Christians and that in fact Jews and Christians had a long history of living peaceably in Muslim dominated societies. I disagree with you. I think you are wrong. You think I am wrong. I can live with that.

habibko
11-29-2009, 10:49 PM
Minarets aren't an obligatory requirement for the construction of mosques, it can be a mosque without a minaret, therefore if the Swiss people want to maintain the culture of their landscape etc then Muslims can do without the Minarets.

this should/will only become an issue if it developed into a banning of new mosques.

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 11:04 PM
Of course, religon is going to influence a person's values. Then those values are going to have an influence on what one wants to have happen in the public arena. That's unavoidable. What is prohibited is to make a law that disfavors or favors a particular religon. Personally, I think that the ridiculous position that evolution should not be taught in the schools is a result of religous activism. I deplore it, but on the other hand I wouldn't want to ban people of a certain religous persuasion from voting for school board members.
Well, I guess these are not just all of the issues. The laws against gays are based on religious arguments as well, no? So yes, it's nice to have the idea of a separation of religion from state but it's inevitably difficult to put into practice. So while I wish Switzerland would also have this explicit separation, I would not want it in the way it is in the U.S. -- in name, with plenty of exceptions on the biggest of issues.


I thought that Switzerland did not allow prayer calls anyway even though there were minarets. How would the building of new minarets affect that?

That is not wholly correct -- there are two separate issues here. One, the minarets are not in general used for calls to prayer but have on occasion been used that way. Second, these minarets were built starting a while ago. The landscape both in Switzerland and the world in general was quite different. Post 9-11, there have been so many terrorist or extremist actions in various parts of the world and, many of these have been associated with fundamentalism. Of these, the extremist wings of Islam have been the ones that have largely been the most prominent. Thus, the referendum today may have had a very different outcome had it been done in the 1990s. In fact, a referendum probably would not have been needed.

So, the building of a minaret in today's Switzerland, with its much much larger population of Muslims than 10 years ago, and the very contentious issues raised around Islamicization of Europe and various acts of unrest in the world, do not make the minaret issue the same today as the minaret issue of yesteryears. It is very naiive to think that the Swiss would not take into consideration the very different landscape in making this decision.

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 11:05 PM
Minarets aren't an obligatory requirement for the construction of mosques, it can be a mosque without a minaret, therefore if the Swiss people want to maintain the culture of their landscape etc then Muslims can do without the Minarets.

this should/will only become an issue if it developed into a banning of new mosques.

Is this really true? It's hard to believe that such a dominant form in Islamic architecture is not mandatory. The minaret exists all over the Islamic world.

In contrast, there is really no practically universal external piece in Christian architecture. The steeple, stained glass, mosaic, dome, cross-pattern, apse, fresco, is really pretty flexible and a church may incorporate any one of them or none of them.

Aloimeh
11-29-2009, 11:06 PM
Well, I guess these are not just all of the issues. The laws against gays are based on religious arguments as well, no? So yes, it's nice to have the idea of a separation of religion from state but it's inevitably difficult to put into practice. So while I wish Switzerland would also have this explicit separation, I would not want it in the way it is in the U.S. -- in name, with plenty of exceptions on the biggest of issues.



That is not wholly correct -- there are two separate issues here. One, the minarets are not in general used for calls to prayer but have on occasion been used that way. Second, these minarets were built starting a while ago. The landscape both in Switzerland and the world in general was quite different. Post 9-11, there have been so many terrorist or extremist actions in various parts of the world and, many of these have been associated with fundamentalism. Of these, the extremist wings of Islam have been the ones that have largely been the most prominent. Thus, the referendum today may have had a very different outcome had it been done in the 1990s. In fact, a referendum probably would not have been needed.

So, the building of a minaret in today's Switzerland, with its much much larger population of Muslims than 10 years ago, and the very contentious issues raised around Islamicization of Europe and various acts of unrest in the world, do not make the minaret issue the same today as the minaret issue of yesteryears. It is very naiive to think that the Swiss would not take into consideration the very different landscape in making this decision.

Isn't it true that these are mostly Balkan Muslims. My impression was that they are not very "good" Muslims - i.e. they drink, eat port, dance, sleep around, etc. Is it these people that are pushing for mosques and minarets or more devout Muslims from the Middle East?

habibko
11-29-2009, 11:08 PM
Is this really true? It's hard to believe that such a dominant form in Islamic architecture is not mandatory. The minaret exists all over the Islamic world.

In contrast, there is really no practically universal external piece in Christian architecture. The steeple, stained glass, mosaic, dome, cross-pattern, apse, fresco, is really pretty flexible and a church may incorporate any one of them or none of them.

it is very true, you should learn alot more before discussing complicated issues like Islamic jurisprudence, Star here knows what she is talking about, unlike you.

R.Federer
11-29-2009, 11:20 PM
Isn't it true that these are mostly Balkan Muslims. My impression was that they are not very "good" Muslims - i.e. they drink, eat port, dance, sleep around, etc. Is it these people that are pushing for mosques and minarets or more devout Muslims from the Middle East?

Well, there are "good" and "bad" Christians and similarly for other religions in Switzerland as well. That is hardly the issue, though. Btw, there are Muslims from all over the world in Switzerland. Yes, there are many from the Balkans but also Turkish (since I was a kid), some from Asia, and so on.

With the current referendum, many people would like to prevent the very difficult assimilation issues that have arisen broadly in Europe-- where, grossly generalizing, there has been a question of how compatible Islamic values are with laws, culture etc. of the western countries they now call home. In the U.K. they are questioning how to prevent/allow Sharia law to be administered alongside British law. In France, there has been the problems with Sarkozy openly stating his position on wearing a hijab, and so on. Denmark, there was the cartoon problem. Italy I believe has already banned the building of mosques to some extent due to various issues. To many people, it is reasonable to limit the extent and speed by which their (old) cultural heritage is changed. This is all the more complicated when there have been many difficult issues and events in the recent past, and most people do not know which moderate stance will become an extremist one.

star
11-29-2009, 11:49 PM
Well, I guess these are not just all of the issues. The laws against gays are based on religious arguments as well, no? So yes, it's nice to have the idea of a separation of religion from state but it's inevitably difficult to put into practice. So while I wish Switzerland would also have this explicit separation, I would not want it in the way it is in the U.S. -- in name, with plenty of exceptions on the biggest of issues.

You seem to misunderstand what separation of church and state means in the U.S. It means the government can not enact laws that favor or disfavor a particular religon, not that the government can't make laws on something that people might form an opinion about based on their religon. It does not mean that people cannot act based on their religous beliefs. Some Christian denominations preach that homosexuality is a sin. However there are other Christian demoninations that do not. Within each of these groups there are those that come to their own decisions. Individual members of both groups may disagree with the expressed view of their denomination. Or put in another way, some Roman Catholics may disagree that abortion is a sin. Others may not. Also there are people who are not religous who may differ concerning gay marriage and abortion. Each person can vote based on their own beliefs. Laws passed in this way are not the expression of a particular religous sect and do not violate the constitutional ban on separation of church and state. However, a law that particularly bans one religous form of expression and allows another to exist is unconstutitonal. To put it in the context of a minaret, if a christian church steeple of a certain height is allowed, so must a similar construction of another faith be allowed. It is NOT as you state "exceptions on the biggest of issues."

You do not seem to be able to distinguish between a religious persuasion that inculcates certain values and then leads to certain decisions that are expressed in the voting booth on non religous issues from explicit laws made about specific religons.



That is not wholly correct -- there are two separate issues here. One, the minarets are not in general used for calls to prayer but have on occasion been used that way. Second, these minarets were built starting a while ago. The landscape both in Switzerland and the world in general was quite different. Post 9-11, there have been so many terrorist or extremist actions in various parts of the world and, many of these have been associated with fundamentalism. Of these, the extremist wings of Islam have been the ones that have largely been the most prominent. Thus, the referendum today may have had a very different outcome had it been done in the 1990s. In fact, a referendum probably would not have been needed.
So, the building of a minaret in today's Switzerland, with its much much larger population of Muslims than 10 years ago, and the very contentious issues raised around Islamicization of Europe and various acts of unrest in the world, do not make the minaret issue the same today as the minaret issue of yesteryears. It is very naiive to think that the Swiss would not take into consideration the very different landscape in making this decision.

That's exactly how I thought the Swiss people looked at it.

star
11-29-2009, 11:51 PM
it is very true, you should learn alot more before discussing complicated issues like Islamic jurisprudence, Star here knows what she is talking about, unlike you.

Thank you.

I am hardly an expert.

buddyholly
11-30-2009, 12:18 AM
Let's be honest, though. What do you think is more inflammatory? Not building them in the first place, or building them and having the audacity to even suggest the demolition of a part of an Islam place of worship?



The bit about demolition was tongue in cheek. Neverthless I see a scenario where minarets are built with the ''understanding'' that local noise laws have to be obeyed. Then when the prayer calls start, the Swiss authorities will be faced with the option of having to invade a mosque to uphold the law. Maybe they could just blockade it until everyone has left.

But I have no doubt some elements would want to cause conflict. I have already seen pictures of Muslims in England running around with signs saying "DEATH TO NON-MUSLIMS. WE WILL CONQUER ENGLAND."

buddyholly
11-30-2009, 12:50 AM
I think it's unreasonable to allow people to immigrate into your country and then say that they can't worship in their faith.

This is going round in circles. Muslims can practice their faith, but they can not expect to force it on the rest of the population. So the question is what are minarets for? If they are only to call the faithful, then I would say no minarets, because it is against the law to make public noise and that is the function of a minaret.

habibko
11-30-2009, 12:59 AM
This is going round in circles. Muslims can practice their faith, but they can not expect to force it on the rest of the population. So the question is what are minarets for? If they are only to call the faithful, then I would say no minarets, because it is against the law to make public noise and that is the function of a minaret.

first they served a purpose for "call to prayer", later they became a symbol of mosques so they can be easily identified, much like steeples in churches.

Muslims are sensitive regarding discrimination against them in the West and for a good reason given the amount of hate, racism and xenophobia they live with these days, and this won't help make things better.

star
11-30-2009, 01:18 AM
This is going round in circles. Muslims can practice their faith, but they can not expect to force it on the rest of the population. So the question is what are minarets for? If they are only to call the faithful, then I would say no minarets, because it is against the law to make public noise and that is the function of a minaret.

I agree that no faith should be forced on others. My understanding is that Switzerland already had forbidden calls to prayer from any minaret on the ground that it made too much noise. (I don't know where it stands on ringing of church bells) I understood as Habbiko said that the minaret is similar to a church steeple -- where bells can be rung or not rung. I think it may also serve the purpose of standing in a high place to catch sight of the first evening star during Rhamadan -- but maybe I just have a fantasy of that.

I don't really understand the ban -- other than saying "we don't like you very much and we don't want to be reminded you are here by a minaret and there are already too many of them." I think everyone understood that Muslims could still worship. The snippet you quoted from me was part of a bigger point and hypothetical in nature.

JolánGagó
11-30-2009, 01:47 AM
not sure whether I have a formed opinion as I understand arguments both ways. I do think though that if someone decided to build a replica of Cologne Cathderal in Rhyadh, that wouldn't go well with locals.

Entering the country with a bible will already make you gilty of proselytism, let alone a cathedral replica.

ly believe that by making such moves we are giving more fodder for the extremists to chew on and turn the Middle East into a more volatile place. This issue is ultimately pretty minor but has the potential to get blown up (no pun intended).

I don't think the Swiss, or anyone else for that matter, should rule their country thinking of what the consecuences of their laws and acts of governance migh be in the middle east.

The minaret is a symbol of Islamic expansion and Islamic domiance. It goes beyond the private devotion a Muslim might make by going to a mosque and praying. It seeks to dominate the sound-space of the surrounding community - both Muslim and non-Muslim, with the azan.

exactly.

It's high time (culturally) Christian Europeans said enough is enough, this is who we are, and if you want to immigrate into our country, you will abide by our laws and assimilate into our culture, or you are not welcome.

exactly x 2.

3.) They did not live "peaceably" in Muslim societies. They lived in a state of persecution. The native Christian Copts of Egypt have seen a precipitous decline in their numbers and institutional discrimination by Arab Muslims. The Christians of the Ottoman empire were eliminated in several waves of genocidal violence - first the Armenians, then the Assyrians and Greeks. There are many other examples in more distant history, of course, but Islamic violence against Christians and Jews (peaceful native people, not invaders, mind you) has a long history. It did not begin with the founding of the State of Israel.

Arab conquest of previously Christian Spain in the 8th century anyone? In some muslim universities they still teach "Al Andalus" (for "Spain") is a lost land, legitimately belonging to the faith and one day should be reconquered.

Muslims are sensitive regarding discrimination against them in the West and for a good reason given the amount of hate, racism and xenophobia they live with these days, and this won't help make things better.

Thank God Christians aren't that sensitive about the discrimination against them in the muslim world. WW3 would surely ensue.

Aloimeh
11-30-2009, 01:49 AM
first they served a purpose for "call to prayer", later they became a symbol of mosques so they can be easily identified, much like steeples in churches.

Muslims are sensitive regarding discrimination against them in the West and for a good reason given the amount of hate, racism and xenophobia they live with these days, and this won't help make things better.

Perhaps Muslims need to consider all the hate and discrimination they wreak on non-Muslims in Muslim-dominated countries. Adding to that the fact that non-Muslims typically predate Muslims in many of these territories, which is the reverse from the case of Muslim immigrants in the West.

Aloimeh
11-30-2009, 01:52 AM
Entering the country with a bible will already make you gilty of proselytism, let alone a cathedral replica.



I don't think the Swiss, or anyone else for that matter, should rule their country thinking of what the consecuences of their laws and acts of governance migh be in the middle east.



exactly.



exactly x 2.



Arab conquest of previously Christian Spain in the 8th century anyone? In some muslim universities they still teach "Al Andalus" (for "Spain") is a lost land, legitimately belonging to the faith and one day should be reconquered.



Than God Christians aren't that sensitive about the discrimination against them in the muslim world. WW3 would surely ensue.

As I understand, the "idyllic" Muslim Spain is largely a myth. The Almohads persecuted Christians and Jews in Iberia and the Maghreb and practically stamped out these two religions out of the Maghreb. Religious intolerance in Iberia did not begin with the Roman Catholic Inquisition.

JolánGagó
11-30-2009, 01:57 AM
As I understand, the "idyllic" Muslim Spain is largely a myth. The Almohads persecuted Christians and Jews in Iberia and the Maghreb and practically stamped out these two religions out of the Maghreb. Religious intolerance in Iberia did not begin with the Roman Catholic Inquisition.

A myth akin to Elvis still alive, a fairy tale totally discredited by History if common sense wasn't enough.

habibko
11-30-2009, 02:00 AM
Perhaps Muslims need to consider all the hate and discrimination they wreak on non-Muslims in Muslim-dominated countries. Adding to that the fact that non-Muslims typically predate Muslims in many of these territories, which is the reverse from the case of Muslim immigrants in the West.

did the Swiss say they are doing this in retaliation? what does this have to do with the thread topic?

habibko
11-30-2009, 02:10 AM
As I understand, the "idyllic" Muslim Spain is largely a myth. The Almohads persecuted Christians and Jews in Iberia and the Maghreb and practically stamped out these two religions out of the Maghreb. Religious intolerance in Iberia did not begin with the Roman Catholic Inquisition.

A myth akin to Elvis still alive, a fairy tale totally discredited by History if common sense wasn't enough.

a myth? have you two heard about something called "La Convivencia"? your extreme-right and xenophobic views of Muslims are one thing but now you're completely disregarding historical recordings of a Golden Age between Jews, Christians and Muslims in Al-Andalus? talk about ideological delusions.

R.Federer
11-30-2009, 02:54 AM
You seem to misunderstand what separation of church and state means in the U.S. It means the government can not enact laws that favor or disfavor a particular religon, not that the government can't make laws on something that people might form an opinion about based on their religon. It does not mean that people cannot act based on their religous beliefs. Some Christian denominations preach that homosexuality is a sin. However there are other Christian demoninations that do not. Within each of these groups there are those that come to their own decisions. Individual members of both groups may disagree with the expressed view of their denomination. Or put in another way, some Roman Catholics may disagree that abortion is a sin. Others may not. Also there are people who are not religous who may differ concerning gay marriage and abortion. Each person can vote based on their own beliefs. Laws passed in this way are not the expression of a particular religous sect and do not violate the constitutional ban on separation of church and state. However, a law that particularly bans one religous form of expression and allows another to exist is unconstutitonal. To put it in the context of a minaret, if a christian church steeple of a certain height is allowed, so must a similar construction of another faith be allowed. It is NOT as you state "exceptions on the biggest of issues."

You do not seem to be able to distinguish between a religious persuasion that inculcates certain values and then leads to certain decisions that are expressed in the voting booth on non religous issues from explicit laws made about specific religons.



No, I do understand and I think you're simplifying the matter considerably like many people tend to do. I sympathize, though, because the language is such that it is open to interpretation and you are taking the very simplistic interpretation.

With gay (gay marriages in particular), the separation of church and state --- or more aptly today, religion and state--- is in
play because condemning that particular union is based on religious beliefs, and are used to front a denial of STATE rights -- rights that the state accords with the contract of a hetero marriage. It is not just, as you seem to say, the idea that people are forming ideas about gays based on religion (they are, and they are legally free to do so), but that they are then attempting to use these ideas to intervene in how the state will or will not provide certain benefits to gays. That is not separation of church or state.

There are two reasons that this issue tends to confuse people. One, knowing that there is a separation of church and state, the right in the U.S. disguise this as based on moral persuaion and "sanctity of marriage". What sanctity? Defined by who? Certainly not by the population at large. Second, the argument you try to make has been made before and is the more common cause of misunderstanding -- i.e., banning gay marriage doesn't favor any *specific* religion, so it falls outside of the realms of the Separation clause. That is mistaken because the broad interpretation of the establishment clause is intervention of state in religious matters. Issues about the sanctity of marriage is not a social convention, it is a strictly religious one.

JolánGagó
11-30-2009, 02:55 AM
a myth? have you two heard about something called "La Convivencia"? your extreme-right and xenophobic views of Muslims are one thing but now you're completely disregarding historical recordings of a Golden Age between Jews, Christians and Muslims in Al-Andalus? talk about ideological delusions.

You must be brainwashed by islamic propaganda, the same that still lays claim over Iberian peninsula as a conquered by infidels land. Appart from nowadays utterly discredited by serious academia 1001 nightsesque fairy tales there was no convivencia to speak of, the Christian faith of almost the whole Iberian population was supressed, churches turned into mosques and Christians forced to convert if they wanted any slice of public life and power.

Please inform yourself outside the walls of your local mosque before pontificating about lands and times you seem not to have a clear idea of.

Chip_s_m
11-30-2009, 02:58 AM
According to this article, the issue is that the Minarets are a political symbol representing Islamic victory:

http://www.rferl.org/content/Switzerland_Looks_Headed_Toward_Minaret_Ban_After_ Referendum/1890536.html (NOTE: I'm not familiar with the source, but was just searching for more articles about this)

(RFE/RL) -- Swiss voters have approved a move to ban the construction of new minarets in the country.

Final results show that over 57 percent of voters backed the proposal in a referendum that was held today following an initiative by a right wing political party. Turnout was reported at about 55 percent.

Switzerland, home to some 400,000 Muslims, already has four minarets attached to mosques that will remain even after today’s referendum.

The Swiss government had urged voters to reject the proposed ban on new minarets, saying it would violate religious freedom and human rights, as well as potentially provoking Islamist radicalism and harming Switzerland’s image. But in a statement today, the government said it respects the decision of the voters.

"A majority of the Swiss people and the cantons have adopted the popular initiative against the construction of minarets. The Federal Council respects this decision," the statement said.

The controversial proposal to ban minarets was brought up by the right wing Swiss People’s party, which says minarets are symbols of rising Muslim political and religious power that could eventually turn Switzerland into an Islamic nation.

Campaigners demanded the referendum to halt "political Islamization" by amending the Swiss constitution to add a clause stating "the construction of minarets is prohibited."

‘Political Symbol’

The referendum was called after campaigners collected the 100,000 signatures required to put the question to a nationwide vote.

Right wing politician Ulrich Schluer from the Swiss People's Party told the Swiss website swissinfo.ch that minarets symbolize a political-religious claim to power.

“We do not forbid Islam -- we forbid the political symbol of Islamization, and this is the minaret,” Schluer said. “The minaret has nothing to do with religion; the minaret is a symbol of political victory [of Islam]. The first thing the Turks did when they conquered Constinople -- they installed a minaret on the top of the most important church.”

Amnesty International has warned that the ban would violate Switzerland's obligations to freedom of religious expression.

Agencies report that partial results from the poll indicate that the German-speaking canton of Lucerne accepted the ban. But the French-speaking cantons of Geneva and Vaud have reportedly voted against.

"I'm shocked by this initiative, by this answer I've given you my position. I'm against this initiative because I think it's [an example of] intolerance," one voter told Reuters in Geneva.

Early results suggest that 55 percent of voters have backed the initiative. Swiss media report that ahead of the referendum, opinion polls had predicted the ban would not receive voters’ support.

Claude Longchamp, leader of the gfs.bern polling institute, is quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the projection also forecasts approval by more than half of the country's 26 cantons, meaning it will become a constitutional amendment.

Tensions ran high ahead of the referendum as voters grappled with sensitive issues linked to immigration.

Henry Chinaski
11-30-2009, 03:00 AM
Islam has demonstrated time and time again that its aim is not to encourage a private religion - as is the case The strategies are war, immigration, and a high birth rate, and the aim is to use these demographic transformations to effect political change.

.

muslims don't fuck for fun or babies. they fuck because they want to conquer the world.

muslims don't make personal decisions to emigrate for economic reasons. the koran tells them they have to gradually conquer the world.

you sound like a paranoid luncatic, I hope you know that.

minarets are cool. if you're going to have mosques you might as well have the aesthetic benefit as well.

R.Federer
11-30-2009, 03:05 AM
I don't really understand the ban -- other than saying "we don't like you very much and we don't want to be reminded you are here by a minaret and there are already too many of them." I think everyone understood that Muslims could still worship. The snippet you quoted from me was part of a bigger point and hypothetical in nature.

Okay, earlier I explained some of the background to the ban and you said you that was exactly how you thought the Swiss people saw it. Now you're giving some other explanation --much less charitable-- as to how you interpret the ban, which is absolutely not what I said.

habibko
11-30-2009, 03:06 AM
You must be brainwashed by islamic propaganda, the same that still lays claim over Iberian peninsula as a conquered by infidels land. Appart from nowadays utterly discredited by serious academia 1001 nightsesque fairy tales there was no convivencia to speak of, the Christian faith of almost the whole Iberian population was supressed, churches turned into mosques and Christians forced to convert if they wanted any slice of public life and power.

Please inform yourself outside the walls of your local mosque before pontificating about lands and times you seem not to have a clear idea of.

where have you learned about this serious irrefutable academia? care to give me the sources or book titles you read?

R.Federer
11-30-2009, 03:15 AM
Minarets aren't an obligatory requirement for the construction of mosques, it can be a mosque without a minaret, therefore if the Swiss people want to maintain the culture of their landscape etc then Muslims can do without the Minarets.

this should/will only become an issue if it developed into a banning of new mosques.
Yes, you are correct and many people have voiced this issue here. On the news, the idea that there will be pushback on the bank from Amnesty, based on "religious expression", is going to meet the same resistance. Thank you for your understanding. This is difficult for everyone. But there has been a vote, it was fair, and the people whose lives are directly going to be affected have made the determination as to what is best for them.

buddyholly
11-30-2009, 03:23 AM
Muslims are sensitive regarding discrimination against them in the West and for a good reason given the amount of hate, racism and xenophobia they live with these days, and this won't help make things better.

From what I have read recently, in London Muslims live with hate, racism and xenophobia because it is part of their culture.

If they feel they can't tolerate cartoons of men with bombs in their turbans without running around screaming for blood, then they should avoid trying to live in the West anyway.

JolánGagó
11-30-2009, 03:44 AM
where have you learned about this serious irrefutable academia? care to give me the sources or book titles you read?

It's pretty easy to find provided you are really willing to look beyond your set opinion. Now I've got to go and catch a plane, I'll see what i can do for your education some time later :wavey:

Arkulari
11-30-2009, 04:40 AM
I agree that it's not a ban on Mosques or Islam at all but why just this religious symbol?

There are Hindu temples with particular architecture, Jewish synagogues and other such institutions with their own distinctive features so why not ban those as well.

In such times instead of embracing other cultures and trying to pacify tensions the world just wants to create more divisions.

I think it is about the secularization of society? nowadays religious symbols are being retired from a lot of state/public places, it's quite funny that two of the most "catholic" countries in the world (Spain and Italy) are now retiring crucifixes from public schools for consider that they coerce youngsters into following a religion, same goes with the burka prohibition and stuff

I don't think it is right to prohibit Minarets if it is something against the actual religion (if it is about landscaping, well I hope the same law goes for skyscrapers and other constructions), but is only a series of steps taking by many European countries against different religions, even the ones that the majority of their people profess :shrug:

bokehlicious
11-30-2009, 08:04 AM
Most people I talked to that voted yes said their main argument was "well, we can't do what we want in their coutries so why should we allow them to do what they want here?" :rolleyes: so narrow minded... So because others are intolerant we have to do the exact same?

Shame shame shame...

R.Federer
11-30-2009, 09:43 AM
From what I have read recently, in London Muslims live with hate, racism and xenophobia because it is part of their culture.

If they feel they can't tolerate cartoons of men with bombs in their turbans without running around screaming for blood, then they should avoid trying to live in the West anyway.

With the cartoon issue, one of the things that people talked about here is that yes, it is not the nicest thing to make fun of another religion, but the response should be proportionate. There used to be a musical called Jesus Christ Superstar, there is a movie (Passion of the Christ) which suggests a non-filial relationship between Jesus and Mary and these elicited some strong --but measured-- reactions among Christians. Some people feel that one of the assimilation problems has been that a cartoon, or a joke, even if tasteless, should not automatically bring death threats or violent unrests.

Bibberz
11-30-2009, 10:42 AM
The point is, in NYC schools, the ACLU sees menorah displays and stars and crescents as "cultural," so they can be taught and displayed in classrooms as pedagogic, whereas Christian displays are reviled as religious and systematically removed.

The ACLU doesn't love menorahs as much as you think:

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/12/24/nyregion/aclu-suit-for-removal-of-creche-and-menorah-is-denied.html

Don't assume that because the ACLU isn't challenging the displays of menorahs/stars/crescents in one particular instance that the organization itself views those displays as "cultural." It is infinitely more probable that a court has already decided that those displays need not be removed because they are more cultural than religious in nature.

Here's an article covering the case I presume you were thinking of:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0222/p04s01-ussc.html

At issue in Skoros v. City of New York was whether the city's public school system is impermissibly promoting Judaism and Islam while conveying a message of disapproval of Christianity. School rules allow the Jewish menorah and the Muslim star and crescent in multireligious holiday displays but not nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus.

...

While the policy, written with the help of city lawyers, bars nativity scenes, it allows depictions of Christmas trees to represent the Christian celebration of Christmas.

...

The city says its policy treats all religions consistently by excluding "depictions of deities, religious texts, or scenes of worship such as a Christian nativity scene," says Leonard Koerner, a lawyer for the school district, in his brief to the court. "As the Christian nativity scene explicitly depicts the Christian deity [the baby Jesus] as the center of a scene of worship, it falls on the wrong side of the line."So you can have your Christmas tree--you just can't have a display featuring baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, those shepherds, the Magi, some angels, a bunch of random-ass animals, and a whole goddamn stable.

Analogously, Jews can have their menorahs, but they can't have a display featuring baby Moses, a little basket-raft, and a bathtub full of water that represents the Nile River.

Make sense?

Aloimeh
11-30-2009, 12:02 PM
did the Swiss say they are doing this in retaliation? what does this have to do with the thread topic?

Most people I talked to that voted yes said their main argument was "well, we can't do what we want in their coutries so why should we allow them to do what they want here?" :rolleyes: so narrow minded... So because others are intolerant we have to do the exact same?

Shame shame shame...

Apparently, retaliation may not be as irrelevant as we initially thought.

People are not stupid. Their eyes are open. They are aware of the fact that in no Muslim country are there as many rights for *all* citizens - non-Muslim and Muslim - as their is in Switzerland, and they want the culture that developed that their legal system to remain intact in their own country.

Aloimeh
11-30-2009, 12:18 PM
The ACLU doesn't love menorahs as much as you think:

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/12/24/nyregion/aclu-suit-for-removal-of-creche-and-menorah-is-denied.html

Don't assume that because the ACLU isn't challenging the displays of menorahs/stars/crescents in one particular instance that the organization itself views those displays as "cultural." It is infinitely more probable that a court has already decided that those displays need not be removed because they are more cultural than religious in nature.

Here's an article covering the case I presume you were thinking of:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0222/p04s01-ussc.html

So you can have your Christmas tree--you just can't have a display featuring baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, those shepherds, the Magi, some angels, a bunch of random-ass animals, and a whole goddamn stable.

Analogously, Jews can have their menorahs, but they can't have a display featuring baby Moses, a little basket-raft, and a bathtub full of water that represents the Nile River.

Make sense?

This is a side topic. I personally find both the creche and the christmas tree, spiritually-speaking, unattractive.

However, whereas the star and crescent remains the definitive symbol of Islam, and the menorah is one of the main symbols of Judaism, historically older than the Magen David.

The Christmas tree compares better to a hamantash (the Purim cookie) - it's the symbol of a holiday but not a religion. It's also a pagan symbol and has hardly to do with core Christianity.

The "accepted principle" regarding creches here biases against Christianity, which is florid and explicit in its direct artistic depiction of human beings (and even Christ), and favors Islam and Judaism - which reject direct images and favor symbols.

Does NYC allow displays of the cross, crucifix, and fish in classrooms? Because those are the cultural equivalents of the star and crescent and the menorah. Is suspect not.

superslam77
11-30-2009, 12:59 PM
You don't go to another country and try and impose your own culture, religion and even try to build for the expansion of Islam. With any sensitivity or rationality you would try to assimilate and respect the local land, people, architecture and biodiversity of such place.

In my opinion any religious edification(if not for historical and aesthetic values) should be banned in the first place. Most of the destruction of people and civilization has been done because of religion(conquer the sinners or the infidels).

Every culture has been guilty of this in the past..

Bibberz
11-30-2009, 01:21 PM
This is a side topic. I personally find both the creche and the christmas tree, spiritually-speaking, unattractive.

Noted.

However, whereas the star and crescent remains the definitive symbol of Islam, and the menorah is one of the main symbols of Judaism, historically older than the Magen David.

The Christmas tree compares better to a hamantash (the Purim cookie) - it's the symbol of a holiday but not a religion. It's also a pagan symbol and has hardly to do with core Christianity.

The "accepted principle" regarding creches here biases against Christianity, which is florid and explicit in its direct artistic depiction of human beings (and even Christ), and favors Islam and Judaism - which reject direct images and favor symbols.

Does NYC allow displays of the cross, crucifix, and fish in classrooms? Because those are the cultural equivalents of the star and crescent and the menorah. Is suspect not.For what it's worth, I will agree that the crucifix and crescent are rough equivalents, and, like you, I'm guessing it's not (as) permissible to display the crucifix in NYC public schools. I'm sure the challenger--a Christian mother who apparently holds views similar to yours on this matter--advanced more sophisticated arguments. I'm also willing to bet that "friends of the court" filed clever and well-researched amicus briefs in support of her position. The court still wasn't moved, I guess. :tears:

Is there some anti-Christian bias in the decision? Form your own opinion--go nuts. I for one don't care to get into it because: (1) I wholeheartedly approve of less religious/cultural iconography in our public schools :D and (2) this area of First Amendment law (i.e. the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause) is ridiculously messy.

I responded to your post because you blithely ascribed views to the ACLU which it does not appear to hold. If the ACLU challenges Christian displays more often than it does Jewish/Islamic displays it's surely because Christianity more thoroughly pervades our society (i.e. schools, courthouses, etc.).

I also responded because I thought (and I still do think) that you misrepresented the facts of the case. If you want a decent abstract/brief of the case (or if you want to read the decision) go here:

http://www.nsba.org/MainMenu/SchoolLaw/Issues/Religion/RecentCases/SkorosvCityofNewYorkNo0412292dCirFeb32006.aspx

Scroll down and click "Link to full opinion" if you want the nuts and bolts. You can search through the opinion by keyword quite easily.

:wavey:

Aloimeh
11-30-2009, 01:46 PM
Noted.
For what it's worth, I will agree that the crucifix and crescent are rough equivalents, and, like you, I'm guessing it's not (as) permissible to display the crucifix in NYC public schools. I'm sure the challenger--a Christian mother who apparently holds views similar to yours on this matter--advanced more sophisticated arguments. I'm also willing to bet that "friends of the court" filed clever and well-researched amicus briefs in support of her position. The court still wasn't moved, I guess. :tears:

Is there some anti-Christian bias in the decision? Form your own opinion--go nuts. I for one don't care to get into it because: (1) I wholeheartedly approve of less religious/cultural iconography in our public schools :D and (2) this area of First Amendment law (i.e. the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause) is ridiculously messy.

I responded to your post because you blithely ascribed views to the ACLU which it does not appear to hold. If the ACLU challenges Christian displays more often than it does Jewish/Islamic displays it's surely because Christianity more thoroughly pervades our society (i.e. schools, courthouses, etc.).

I also responded because I thought (and I still do think) that you misrepresented the facts of the case. If you want a decent abstract/brief of the case (or if you want to read the decision) go here:

http://www.nsba.org/MainMenu/SchoolLaw/Issues/Religion/RecentCases/SkorosvCityofNewYorkNo0412292dCirFeb32006.aspx

Scroll down and click "Link to full opinion" if you want the nuts and bolts. You can search through the opinion by keyword quite easily.

:wavey:

I read the abstract and am not convinced. According to the DOE (and they confirm that view), the Christmas tree, menorah, and star and crescent are "secular" or "cultural" symbols. They are anything but, with the star and crescent being the definitive symbol of Islam. The menorah is a historically more important symbol of Judaism than the Star of David and goes beyond merely the holiday of Hannukah. The Christmas tree is nothing - it's a Western Christian (unheard of in the Eastern Orthodox world, btw), pagan-rooted symbol that contains absolutely no reference to Christianity as a religion whatsoever (the menorah, as I have mentioned before, is a core symbol of Judaism and represents the candelabrum in the Temple, and the star and crescent...). As you well know, it is the cross and the crucifix that symbolize Christianity in the way the above symbolize Judaism and Islam, and it is almost without doubt that these symbols are forbidden in the NYC classroom. The creche is just a gaudy sideshow because it refers specifically to Christmas and not Christianity - in the way that the other two symbols we've discussed refer to their respective religions.

bokehlicious
11-30-2009, 02:14 PM
The Swiss really are a special people...

reported

star
11-30-2009, 02:16 PM
I read the abstract and am not convinced. According to the DOE (and they confirm that view), the Christmas tree, menorah, and star and crescent are "secular" or "cultural" symbols. They are anything but, with the star and crescent being the definitive symbol of Islam. The menorah is a historically more important symbol of Judaism than the Star of David and goes beyond merely the holiday of Hannukah. The Christmas tree is nothing - it's a Western Christian (unheard of in the Eastern Orthodox world, btw), pagan-rooted symbol that contains absolutely no reference to Christianity as a religion whatsoever (the menorah, as I have mentioned before, is a core symbol of Judaism and represents the candelabrum in the Temple, and the star and crescent...). As you well know, it is the cross and the crucifix that symbolize Christianity in the way the above symbolize Judaism and Islam, and it is almost without doubt that these symbols are forbidden in the NYC classroom. The creche is just a gaudy sideshow because it refers specifically to Christmas and not Christianity - in the way that the other two symbols we've discussed refer to their respective religions.

Well, I don't know about the creche just referring specifically to Christmas and not Christianity. It represents the acknowledgement of the birth of Christ as the son of god by both heaven (shepherds/angels) and earth (wise men). Since according to the bible these two visitations did not occur simultaneously, clearly the creche is representational of these two acknowledgements together. Thus is Jesus from early days recognized as Christ, King of the Jews. I'd say that's pretty central to Christianity. Of course, there are Christians who don't recognize Christmas, and others who find the display of the cross distasteful (be it an empty cross or a crucifix.)

At any rate, I understand this decision is on appeal. I think that if it is upheld by the highest court in NY (not sure of the name because of the screwed up nature of naming the courts in N.Y.,) it will be appealed to the Supremes. That will be interesting indeed.

I'm with Bibberz here. I'd like to see no displays of religious symbols in schools. Here, we had a young woman and her family sue because the school choir performed hymns of the dominant religion and on choral tours performed in the dominant religion churches. She lost. She had the option of not performing the songs or not performing in the churches. I think that was little relief. These hymns weren't Christmas carols or other songs that have become like folk songs more than religious songs, they were hymns specific to that religion and not sung generally in Christian churches. So, you see, whilst you in NY may find things in one way, in my experience, Christianity is not at all jeopardized by crazeee justices.

In light of all the the heavy handedness (in my opinion) of evangelical christians and their ilk, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the courts ruled not only ruled that the state could not promote a license plate with a stained glass window and an empty cross and the words "I Believe" on it, but also awarded attorney's fees to the plaintiffs. To me that was an example of oppressive evangelical Christianity. Certainly even had a similar license plate been available to those of minority religions or catholics, or mormons (they eschew the cross), they might well not feel comfortable displaying them.

For a more complete explanation of the crescent and star (a symbol predating Islam as the tree predates Christianity) see: http://islam.about.com/od/history/a/crescent_moon.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbols_of_Islam

JolánGagó
11-30-2009, 02:17 PM
reported

He didn't mean you, you aren't that special :hug:

bokehlicious
11-30-2009, 02:28 PM
He didn't mean you, you aren't that special :hug:

I know he said that because of me :cool: :D so much generalization for somebody bitching anytime someone dares not worship Spain... :o :D

R.Federer
11-30-2009, 03:36 PM
You don't go to another country and try and impose your own culture, religion and even try to build for the expansion of Islam. With any sensitivity or rationality you would try to assimilate and respect the local land, people, architecture and biodiversity of such place.

This is so correctly, and nicely, put!
Except for those people who are fleeing persecution, foreigners have chosen to come to live in another land, a land that they might realize has been home to others for years and years. To think that others will come in, with little understanding of the new place they call home, and impose acts, culture, ideas suddenly and sometimes in ways that do not fit into their new land .... it is not the most reasonable of expectations.

star
11-30-2009, 05:18 PM
This is so correctly, and nicely, put!
Except for those people who are fleeing persecution, foreigners have chosen to come to live in another land, a land that they might realize has been home to others for years and years. To think that others will come in, with little understanding of the new place they call home, and impose acts, culture, ideas suddenly and sometimes in ways that do not fit into their new land .... it is not the most reasonable of expectations.

Since I live in a land of immigrants, I might not understand. I don't see how building a minaret is imposing culture or ideas on anyone. Do you object to someone wearing a hajib on the street? A turban? There are so many different kinds of churches where I live and I can't see that a church building has any influence on me other than if I think it is pretty or ugly -- and there are both. Maybe Switzerland is really more highly regulated that what I am used to.

My own experience is that newcomers add new and beneficial things to a country. I remember when there was a big influx of vietnamese to this country, and it added to our country in good ways. Certainly there were some bad things that came with it too, but it was simply a different version of bad things that were already here. Over time, there is assimilation and smoothing. That happens with second and third generations. Here, various waves of immigration have been opposed and sometimes violently opposed. The first waves of Irish immigration were bitterly resented and gave rise to hate groups, discrimination, and even persecution. Chinese immigrants welcomed at first for cheap labor were also resented and suffered before Chinese immigration was halted entirely because of fears of otherness. These were not proud times in our history. There was also hysteria about Japanese -- for reasons not dissimilar to the fear now directed toward Muslims, but resulting in actions even more shameful.

I say all of this because over time all of this immigration has simply enriched this country. These disparate groups have assimilated in some ways and not in others. Some have strong ties to their land of origin and others do not. I guess my point is that if a country allows immigration take all of the good from it without fear. If there is too much fear, perhaps immigration should be disallowed although in practical terms that may be too difficult. The U.S. struggles with how to treat illegal immigrants and many have strong fears as apparently do the Swiss.

But in the end there is one overriding and important factor. More immigration of different ethnic groups means better restaurants adn better eating. :) :) :)

Sophocles
11-30-2009, 05:35 PM
Good for the Swiss. A bit of real democracy & other Western countries might stand a chance of conserving their cultures.

Action Jackson
11-30-2009, 05:48 PM
Switzerland has lots of immigrants and refugees from all over the world.

As for this case, I am not surprised that this referendum was blocked. Then it continues the classic debate which is never going to go away. You will get the ones saying if we wanted to build Christian churches or other stuff like this in Islamic nations, they'd laugh at you at best, so why should they get special treatment in their country.

Then the other side of it, the minority will say that they don't respect us or give a shit, therefore feeling unwelcome, which leads to other problems within society, as some second and third generations aren't at home there, plus their country of origin has moved on and they feel like foreigners.

Naturally they shouldn't forget where they come from and culture, it has to be balanced, and not to the point where they are taking the piss out of the country that was willing to take them in.

R.Federer
11-30-2009, 06:14 PM
Since I live in a land of immigrants, I might not understand. I don't see how building a minaret is imposing culture or ideas on anyone. Do you object to someone wearing a hajib on the street? A turban? There are so many different kinds of churches where I live and I can't see that a church building has any influence on me other than if I think it is pretty or ugly -- and there are both. Maybe Switzerland is really more highly regulated that what I am used to.

How do you mean when you say "you object"? I personally? I assume not. But yes, there are thousands or millions of people in western Europe who wish that women were not donned in hijabs. Now, whether they truly mean it when they say it's because it's a sign of persecution of women or because it is alien and non-European to them, who knows. With churches, your analogy is not really fitting. People in the U.S. grew up with churches around them. It is part of the American landscape and has been for years. Mosques have not been a part of the European landscape, and are barely still. Of course, twenty years ago it did not matter as much-- people were willing to make adjustments on a small scale for a small immigrant population. Things have changed. Everyone is better educated about some of these issues. The population of Muslims (foreign-born) has grown enormously. The traumatic events of the last decade have undoubtedly shaped people's views, especially given how tightly wars, terrorism and so on have been linked ---rightly or wrongly--- to Islamic fundamentalists.
Since the average person cannot look at another person and determine whether that person is "moderate" or "extremist", the average person does take into account these events in making their decisions.

A county like the U.S. is not really one to compare to imo. That country is built by influx of immigrants. That is simply not the model in Europe. Also, the time frame in which the modern wave of US immigration took place had a different political feel to the one today. Yes, immigrants can (depending on who you ask) enrich the home country.

Let me put it this way. If a massive wave of Iraqi immigrants entered the U.S. today, and within a few years took comfort in their critical mass, and requested/demanded that U.S. schools offer Arabic language, taught courses in Iraqi history, perhaps deferential to Saddam, etc., would that go down without much debate in the U.S? You don't have referenda, but my bet would be that something like that if it appeared on a ballot would not have even the semblance of a majority vote. It is very easy to look at others and say Do this do that immigrants enrich etc., but when you are faced with decisions that might impact your own lives in uncertain ways, such votes in other countries might look quite similar to that in Switzerland.

zeleni
11-30-2009, 06:51 PM
a myth? have you two heard about something called "La Convivencia"? your extreme-right and xenophobic views of Muslims are one thing but now you're completely disregarding historical recordings of a Golden Age between Jews, Christians and Muslims in Al-Andalus? talk about ideological delusions.

"Golden Age"(:eek:) of Muslim rule over here in Balkans (southeastern Europe) ended only 100 years ago (in 1912).

I suppose it is easier for, say, Brits (who previously met Islam only in their robbery trips over the world) or Scandinavians, to buy fairytales about lovely Muslim rule.;) Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians, etc. wouldn't take that merchandise for free.;)

star
12-01-2009, 12:54 AM
How do you mean when you say "you object"? I personally? I assume not.

Yes, I did mean you personally.

With churches, your analogy is not really fitting. People in the U.S. grew up with churches around them. It is part of the American landscape and has been for years. Mosques have not been a part of the European landscape, and are barely still. Of course, twenty years ago it did not matter as much-- people were willing to makedjustments on a small scale for a small immigrant population.

I should have said "houses of worship" because I meant church to cover synagogues and every other kind of thing.

The population of Muslims (foreign-born) has grown enormously.

From what I read it is a very small percentage of your entire population, only 6 percent, and the majority of those are not devout.

Since the average person cannot look at another person and determine whether that person is "moderate" or "extremist", the average person does take into account these events in making their decisions.

I would think the average person would not be able to discern whether a person is muslim just by looking at the person without some insignia.

A county like the U.S. is not really one to compare to imo. That country is built by influx of immigrants. That is simply not the model in Europe. Also, the time frame in which the modern wave of US immigration took place had a different political feel to the one today. Yes, immigrants can (depending on who you ask) enrich the home country.

Yes, I agree. The U.S. is different because it is a land of immigrants. I understood that I viewed things differently because of that. That's the reason I was asking the questions. We've been dealing with difficult questions about immigrants for a very long time, and continue to do so. For example, you, from multi-lingual Switzerland, might roll your eyes because some people in the U.S. get very upset because there are signs in two languages many times in public places. They want to make it so signs are only in English. Dual language signs are "recent" here too. I think 20 years ago they were rare. Now they are everywhere.

Let me put it this way. If a massive wave of Iraqi immigrants entered the U.S. today, and within a few years took comfort in their critical mass, and requested/demanded that U.S. schools offer Arabic language, taught courses in Iraqi history, perhaps deferential to Saddam, etc., would that go down without much debate in the U.S? You don't have referenda, but my bet would be that something like that if it appeared on a ballot would not have even the semblance of a majority vote. It is very easy to look at others and say Do this do that immigrants enrich etc., but when you are faced with decisions that might impact your own lives in uncertain ways, such votes in other countries might look quite similar to that in Switzerland.

Well, actually, the U.S. has dealt with the teaching of classes in foreign languages in many places because of immigrants for a long time. Some school districts were facing teaching classes in languages they weren't equipped to handle. It has caused debates, and as I mentioned even now there are groups who want to make English the only language. There are educational debates about whether bilingual education is the best route for the education of children or whether it should be English immersion. My own grandparents were raised in communities where English was the second language learned and spoken. They didn't speak English at home until they were around 30 and 40 years old when they made the decision that it would help their children if they only used English in the home. The language issue is something that has been faced with each new wave of immigration. That's why people get bent out of shape so often and don't stop to think that their own ancestors had to overcome being "other."

I think dealing with change is difficult for a lot of people. Personally, I don't mind it, but I know that it is unsettling and even frightening for many. I think it is also different for the U.S. because we don't have such very old traditions, and one of our traditions is change and reinvention that comes with immigration and also moving from place to place within this country.

I agree that there are many in the U.S. who would vote for xenophobic laws given the chance. We have that come up all the time. I know people who practically lose it when someone starts speaking spanish in front of them and many, many bigots about various different ethnic groups. I'm sure that recently immigrated Indians and Pakistanis have a much different experience of the U.S. than I do. I think that Sikh men had a very difficult time immediately following 9/11.

I think that also we are fortunate because we are many and we are all spread out across a big country. That makes it easier to absorb immigrants.

I live in a very small town. Within the last ten years and especially the last five years we have had a very noticable influx of Mexican immigrants -- some legal and some not. It has changed the complexion of the town quite a bit and there are some adjustments. Now we have a multicultural center that we didn't have before. There has been some conflict between Indians and Mexicans. The school is small and must now deal with children who can't speak any English at all. There are different cultural norms and there has been learning on both sides. The soccer competion has become a lot stiffer, that's for sure!! :D In years to come, we might be able to field a really good soccer team. :)

I guess, I think it will all turn out ok. :hug:

JolánGagó
12-01-2009, 03:53 AM
I suppose it is easier for, say, Brits (who previously met Islam only in their robbery trips over the world) or Scandinavians, to buy fairytales about lovely Muslim rule.;) Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians, etc. wouldn't take that merchandise for free.;)

Exactly. Neither do us Spaniards.

Aloimeh
12-01-2009, 12:05 PM
Yes, I did mean you personally.



I should have said "houses of worship" because I meant church to cover synagogues and every other kind of thing.



From what I read it is a very small percentage of your entire population, only 6 percent, and the majority of those are not devout.



I would think the average person would not be able to discern whether a person is muslim just by looking at the person without some insignia.



Yes, I agree. The U.S. is different because it is a land of immigrants. I understood that I viewed things differently because of that. That's the reason I was asking the questions. We've been dealing with difficult questions about immigrants for a very long time, and continue to do so. For example, you, from multi-lingual Switzerland, might roll your eyes because some people in the U.S. get very upset because there are signs in two languages many times in public places. They want to make it so signs are only in English. Dual language signs are "recent" here too. I think 20 years ago they were rare. Now they are everywhere.



Well, actually, the U.S. has dealt with the teaching of classes in foreign languages in many places because of immigrants for a long time. Some school districts were facing teaching classes in languages they weren't equipped to handle. It has caused debates, and as I mentioned even now there are groups who want to make English the only language. There are educational debates about whether bilingual education is the best route for the education of children or whether it should be English immersion. My own grandparents were raised in communities where English was the second language learned and spoken. They didn't speak English at home until they were around 30 and 40 years old when they made the decision that it would help their children if they only used English in the home. The language issue is something that has been faced with each new wave of immigration. That's why people get bent out of shape so often and don't stop to think that their own ancestors had to overcome being "other."

I think dealing with change is difficult for a lot of people. Personally, I don't mind it, but I know that it is unsettling and even frightening for many. I think it is also different for the U.S. because we don't have such very old traditions, and one of our traditions is change and reinvention that comes with immigration and also moving from place to place within this country.

I agree that there are many in the U.S. who would vote for xenophobic laws given the chance. We have that come up all the time. I know people who practically lose it when someone starts speaking spanish in front of them and many, many bigots about various different ethnic groups. I'm sure that recently immigrated Indians and Pakistanis have a much different experience of the U.S. than I do. I think that Sikh men had a very difficult time immediately following 9/11.

I think that also we are fortunate because we are many and we are all spread out across a big country. That makes it easier to absorb immigrants.

I live in a very small town. Within the last ten years and especially the last five years we have had a very noticable influx of Mexican immigrants -- some legal and some not. It has changed the complexion of the town quite a bit and there are some adjustments. Now we have a multicultural center that we didn't have before. There has been some conflict between Indians and Mexicans. The school is small and must now deal with children who can't speak any English at all. There are different cultural norms and there has been learning on both sides. The soccer competion has become a lot stiffer, that's for sure!! :D In years to come, we might be able to field a really good soccer team. :)

I guess, I think it will all turn out ok. :hug:

I think most Americans are OK with immigration if they think the immigrants will assimilate in a generation or two, which is to say speaking Spanish at home is OK, but you must learn English for school and for getting around in society. The Hispanic immigrants have been notable in how avidly they have insisted on their language become a de facto second language in many areas of the country. That is a source for alarm amongst a good number of Americans, including myself.

I myself am a 2nd generation American - my parents immigrated to this country and I speak a non-English language at home. However, I have "assimilated" in that I accept American culture for what it is and have no aspirations to changing or modifying it or insisting on any medium of communication other than English or insisting on any cultural/holiday recognition that goes beyond "American," or wanting to change the legal system to suite "my" language/culture/religion (I am Protestant Christian, btw).

Many in the West worry that Muslims have an agenda - to transform the culture and law of their adoptive countries. Their worry is not without reason, since historically any area that has been under Muslim military control has gradually shifted towards a system that disenfranchises non-Muslims. A notable exception is Turkey, in which not only Christian Armenians/Assyrians/Greeks (those who survived genocide) are discriminated against, but so are Muslim Kurds - in other words, the religion of Turkey is Turkish nationalism, and then Islam.

Sophocles
12-01-2009, 12:29 PM
Unassimilated mass immigration of a people with an alien culture embodying pre-Englightenment attitudes is an highly effective slow form of suicide for a European nation.

Commander Data
12-01-2009, 12:31 PM
I think for some people it is hard to understand democracy. I, as a Swiss, was asked if I want minarets in our towns. I thought about it and decided "No, I don't want them". The majority of my fellow countrymen said so too. It is our country, or home, we decided this way, there is nothing more to discuss really. Thats called democracy. No human rights are violated. Everybody can follow their own religion in Switzerland, we just don't want the minarets. Mosques are of course allowed. That is not racism. I think it is really disrespectful to call me a racist just because I voiced my honest opinion that I don't want minarets in my home.

If Saudi Arabia doesn't want stepples in the desert I respect that. If I wan't to have steeple, I can build one in Switzerland if I want to live in Saudi Arabia, I have to respect their opinion.

You guys seriously think that 60% of Swiss are racist:cuckoo: public polls in other countries in Europe show that majority would vote for a minarte ban as well. Polls in Germany show up to 80% support for minaret ban for example.their only problem is that they don't have direct democracy like Switzerland to make it happen. Think about reasons for this fact before calling the majority racists.

BTW: In different Islam countries steeples are not allowed.

bokehlicious
12-01-2009, 12:33 PM
I think for some people it is hard to understand democracy. I, as a Swiss, was asked if I want minarets in our towns. I thought about it and decided "No, I don't want them". The majority of my fellow countrymen said so too. It is our country, or home, we decided this way, there is nothing more to discuss really. Thats called democracy. No human rights are violated. Everybody can follow their own religion in Switzerland, we just don't want the minarets. Mosques are of course allowed. That is not racism. I think it is really disrespectful to call me a racist just because I voiced my honest opinion that I don't want minarets in my home.


Out of curiousity, are you SVP friendly or did you just vote like they advised this time around?

Aloimeh
12-01-2009, 12:36 PM
Unassimilated mass immigration of a people with an alien culture embodying pre-Englightenment attitudes is an highly effective slow form of suicide for a European nation.

It wouldn't be as much of an issue if the Europeans (excepting Albania) had the same birth rate as immigrants but they don't. They are in fact sub-replacement fertility. I link this directly to Europe being post-Christian.

JolánGagó
12-01-2009, 12:40 PM
It wouldn't be as much of an issue if the Europeans (excepting Albania) had the same birth rate as immigrants but they don't. They are in fact sub-replacement fertility. I link this directly to Europe being post-Christian.

If for "post-Christian" you mean secularized, the reasons are other than low birth rate. In any case, it isn't the same becoming post-Christian, or non-Christian than muslim. While majority of European population seem to tilt toward the former, the latter is clearly not an option contemplated by many.

Commander Data
12-01-2009, 12:45 PM
Out of curiousity, are you SVP friendly or did you just vote like they advised this time around?

I just voted like they advised this time around. I'm no follower of a specific party I make my mind up from case to case. There are cases where I'm completely opposite of SVP. You think 60% of Swiss is SVP? But it seems to me some parties have lost the contact with the public. after all politicians are supposed to represent the public, don't you think? so isn't it a bit strange that all paries except SVP were against the ban, yet 60% of the people are for it? You should think about that.

Commander Data
12-01-2009, 12:50 PM
Calling Swiss racist who have 22% share of immigrants plus about 25% of people that got nationalized. tztztzt...

We allowed that 50% of people in Swiss do not even have Swiss roots. How ironic to say the Swiss are scared of people from other cultures! We are likely one of the most open countries in the world.

JolánGagó
12-01-2009, 12:58 PM
Calling Swiss racist who have 22% share of immigrants plus about 25% of people that got nationalized. tztztzt...

We allowed that 50% of people in Swiss do not even have Swiss roots. How ironic to say the Swiss are scared of people from other cultures! We are likely one of the most open countries in the world.

I must agree. Fed, Mirka, Hingis, Stan... just name it!

Aloimeh
12-01-2009, 01:02 PM
If for "post-Christian" you mean secularized, the reasons are other than low birth rate. In any case, it isn't the same becoming post-Christian, or non-Christian than muslim. While majority of European population seem to tilt toward the former, the latter is clearly not an option contemplated by many.

No, I attributed low birth rate partly to post-Christian. Partly it has to do with economics and improvements in sanitation. Western people no longer count on up to 2/3 of their children dying of childhood diseases, so they are having far fewer children to start with. People in the West also look on children as a financial burden, rather than an investment. In the West, usually you count on your pension/social safety net/saved funds to cover you in your old age; in most of the rest of the world, not only are children useful as laborers even while young, but you also expect to be taken care of by them (usually the eldest son) in your old age.

Of course I agree that Post-Christian =/= Muslim, but there's no doubt that the Post-Christians lack a vitality that the Muslims have.

For one, there's far less reproduction.

More importantly, there's far less assurance in (especially moral) belief. It seems that political correctness and tolerance are the new Western religions, but these are not so much expression or assertions of a particular belief, as a statement that there is NO truly valid belief and that (almost) anything is OK, as long as you don't hurt too many people. In Christianity, adultery is a serious offense. In historical Judaism and in present-day Islam, it is an offense worthy of death. In Post-Christian secular culture, adultery is not even a punishable crime - it's a private matter, regardless of the consequences on the cheated spouse, children, and society as a whole.

bokehlicious
12-01-2009, 01:02 PM
I just voted like they advised this time around. I'm no follower of a specific party I make my mind up from case to case. There are cases where I'm completely opposite of SVP. You think 60% of Swiss is SVP? But it seems to me some parties have lost the contact with the public. after all politicians are supposed to represent the public, don't you think? so isn't it a bit strange that all paries except SVP were against the ban, yet 60% of the people are for it? You should think about that.

No, thank god, I don't think 60% of the Swiss are SVP friendly... I agree they're the most active party and sent the government a clear message here... Still, I'm saddened that lots of Swiss followed their agenda on "scaring people off"...

Action Jackson
12-01-2009, 01:06 PM
I must agree. Fed, Mirka, Hingis, Stan... just name it!

Allegro, Chiudinelli, Georges Bregy, Türkyilmaz, Yakin brothers, Djourou. Senderos, Ramon Vega. Kratochvil, but as you said, there are plenty of them.

bokehlicious
12-01-2009, 01:10 PM
Bregy is oberwalliser George, he must be a true native... :o :p

Commander Data
12-01-2009, 01:12 PM
No, thank god, I don't think 60% of the Swiss are SVP friendly... I agree they're the most active party and sent the government a clear message here... Still, I'm saddened that lots of Swiss followed their agenda on "scaring people off"...

Yeah, but if that other parties don't start to take the problems the Swiss have with it's high number of Immigrants and behavior of certain groups serious, the SVP will one day have 60% ! Don't want that to happen either.

JolánGagó
12-01-2009, 01:13 PM
No, I attributed low birth rate partly to post-Christian. Partly it has to do with economics and improvements in sanitation. Western people no longer count on up to 2/3 of their children dying of childhood diseases, so they are having far fewer children to start with. People in the West also look on children as a financial burden, rather than an investment. In the West, usually you count on your pension/social safety net/saved funds to cover you in your old age; in most of the rest of the world, not only are children useful as laborers even while young, but you also expect to be taken care of by them (usually the eldest son) in your old age.

Of course I agree that Post-Christian =/= Muslim, but there's no doubt that the Post-Christians lack a vitality that the Muslims have.

For one, there's far less reproduction.

More importantly, there's far less assurance in (especially moral) belief. It seems that political correctness and tolerance are the new Western religions, but these are not so much expression or assertions of a particular belief, as a statement that there is NO truly valid belief and that (almost) anything is OK, as long as you don't hurt too many people. In Christianity, adultery is a serious offense. In historical Judaism and in present-day Islam, it is an offense worthy of death. In Post-Christian secular culture, adultery is not even a punishable crime - it's a private matter, regardless of the consequences on the cheated spouse, children, and society as a whole.

Yep, too true, that's the way it is. I for one wouldn't support a return to the time when Cristian doctrine conditioned justice or any other field of action by the State, neither would I support "society" meddling in what I do or don't do in bed or in my private life... but neither do I support the absolute moral relativism of "anything goes", there are people out there ready to take over and rule according to their own religion/moral/principles totally alien to what hitherto has been known as "western civilization".

Sophocles
12-01-2009, 01:15 PM
It wouldn't be as much of an issue if the Europeans (excepting Albania) had the same birth rate as immigrants but they don't. They are in fact sub-replacement fertility. I link this directly to Europe being post-Christian.

You've got a point. On the other hand, the fact that European nations are post-religious is one reason why the religious-based culture of most Muslims is so hard to assimilate.

bokehlicious
12-01-2009, 01:20 PM
Yeah, but if that other parties don't start to take the problems the Swiss have with it's high number of Immigrants and behavior of certain groups serious, the SVP will one day have 60% ! Don't want that to happen either.

Not sure I'm really aware of those "problems the Swiss have with it's high number of Immigrants", must be dependant on where you live... Switzerland has had lots of immigrants in recent history and I think that brought more good than bad to our culture...

Commander Data
12-01-2009, 01:37 PM
Not sure I'm really aware of those "problems the Swiss have with it's high number of Immigrants", must be dependant on where you live... Switzerland has had lots of immigrants in recent history and I think that brought more good than bad to our culture...

I believe you that you are not aware of this problems. But believe me, the majority is aware of them. And if you dislike the SVP and you like a open Immigrant friendly Swiss I advice you to take this concerns seriouly and help to solve them ;)

Otherwise you might witness an ever growing SVP...

bokehlicious
12-01-2009, 01:42 PM
I believe you that you are not aware of this problems. But believe me, the majority is aware of them. And if you dislike the SVP and you like a open Immigrant friendly Swiss I advice you to take this concerns seriouly and help to solve them ;)

Otherwise you might witness an ever growing SVP...

Still I fail to see how banning the minarets will help solve the "immigration problem"... I don't think the Swiss are racist, but surely most of them are chickens that get scared anytime they spot anything they're just not used to... and yet they brag about being open and very active for the human rights... :o

R.Federer
12-01-2009, 03:11 PM
Out of curiousity, are you SVP friendly or did you just vote like they advised this time around?

I just voted like they advised this time around. I'm no follower of a specific party I make my mind up from case to case. There are cases where I'm completely opposite of SVP. You think 60% of Swiss is SVP? But it seems to me some parties have lost the contact with the public. after all politicians are supposed to represent the public, don't you think? so isn't it a bit strange that all paries except SVP were against the ban, yet 60% of the people are for it? You should think about that.

Zollikofen (Canton Berne) here. I do not agree with SVP in general, as a rule, or as an exception and I think this issue will in fact come back to haunt them.
Commander, you are absolutely correct about our being a democracy, and people needing to respect our choices. Like I wrote early in the thread, there are a lot of democratic choices in the world such as GWB (well, GWB circa 2000 may have been the vote of a few supreme court judges) that are unpopular to outsiders, and allegedly popular to the majority of the people who have the right to elect them. Everyone accepts it because unlike Ahmedinejad's "election", it is the voice of a democratic vote. It has first order effects on people who live right there. It is easy for others living outside, under very different upbringing and circumstances and preferences to voice what they might have liked. Well, it doesn't matter what they would have liked to see in Switzerland. It does not have any bearing on their immediate lives.

R.Federer
12-01-2009, 03:22 PM
Still I fail to see how banning the minarets will help solve the "immigration problem"... I don't think the Swiss are racist, but surely most of them are chickens that get scared anytime they spot anything they're just not used to... and yet they brag about being open and very active for the human rights... :o

Human rights?
I don't think the building of a minaret has anything other than tangential connections with human rights :confused:

bokehlicious
12-01-2009, 03:36 PM
Human rights?
I don't think the building of a minaret has anything other than tangential connections with human rights :confused:

No analogy here... Just saying that lots of people here like to label their country as open, a land of freedom and tolerance and defending the human rights... I just fail to see any tolerance in banning minarets...

JolánGagó
12-01-2009, 03:41 PM
No analogy here... Just saying that lots of people here like to label their country as open, a land of freedom and tolerance and defending the human rights... I just fail to see any tolerance in banning minarets...

No need to go to extremes. Switzerland is an average European country, not more or less free, tolerant or respectful of human rights than any other. If anything, the Swiss have in their hands the chance to say f*ck off to politicians and their PC BS and go and vote on whatever they want. It doesn't make it more or less tolerant.

The minarets ban has no relation whatsoever with human rights.

bokehlicious
12-01-2009, 03:58 PM
Switzerland is an average European country

That's part of the problem, most Swiss won't see their country as "an average European country", we would be in the EU if that was the case... It's a good thing that the people have their say on almost every issue, just that this time around it shows their lack of tolerance... :o

R.Federer
12-01-2009, 04:41 PM
I must agree. Fed, Mirka, Hingis, Stan... just name it!

Swiss are happy to claim the Feds as "Swiss-made". :)

R.Federer
12-01-2009, 04:54 PM
No analogy here... Just saying that lots of people here like to label their country as open, a land of freedom and tolerance and defending the human rights... I just fail to see any tolerance in banning minarets...

There are limits to everything. Freedom of speech in the U.S. for instance (I always use the U.S. as an example since I lived there for some years and know a thing or two about it) is not literal. First amendment "rights" are guidelines. There are clauses, limitations and exceptions to all of those so-called rights.

Likewise, I don't think Swiss become intolerant because of one issue. I could just as well turn that around and say that the reaction to the result of the vote is intolerant of our choice. What seems intolerance to you might seem just as much a lack of tolerance on retaining (some) aspects of the life and culture of Switzerland to others.

When people point to Switzerland on this issue, it would be nice if they take a look at the big picture and see our overall position on immigrants, refugees and the like. We are generous on many counts towards immigrants. We have had very many pro-immigrant acts. Many immigrants and refugees have been well-integrated into our communities. Granted, we have our own share of problems and racism ---- just like people in the U.S., other parts of Europe, and other non-western countries. I accept that. We are not trying to be the singular great state of the world.

ad-out
12-01-2009, 04:56 PM
Well, actually, the U.S. has dealt with the teaching of classes in foreign languages in many places because of immigrants for a long time. Some school districts were facing teaching classes in languages they weren't equipped to handle. It has caused debates, and as I mentioned even now there are groups who want to make English the only language. There are educational debates about whether bilingual education is the best route for the education of children or whether it should be English immersion.

The school is small and must now deal with children who can't speak any English at all. There are different cultural norms and there has been learning on both sides.

I agree with a lot of your posts Star. I will have to say, though, that it is my opinion that people who choose to immigrate to the US should learn and use the English language. This is not to say that we should not learn other languages (my own children started learning spanish and chinese in pre-school) but English is the first language of this country period. I remember hearing about a Texas school who was trying to force all teachers to learn Spanish in order to accomodate the influx of Mexicans. This is absurd. I would never move to France and expect everyone to learn English just to accomodate me. If these families want their children to go to a Spanish speaking school they should find a private one and pay for it. Americans who study overseas do just this - or they learn the native language. :)

Sophocles
12-01-2009, 05:08 PM
There's nothing intolerant in resisting the encroachment of a fundamentally intolerant culture.

bokehlicious
12-01-2009, 05:08 PM
I could just as well turn that around and say that the reaction to the result of the vote is intolerant of our choice. What seems intolerance to you might seem just as much a lack of tolerance on retaining (some) aspects of the life and culture of Switzerland to others.


Entirely agree with this, I reckon I kinda talked off my arse since the result didn't go my way and for once I wished people didn't have anything to say and let the government decide, the result would have been different and the world wouldn't point us out...

Sophocles
12-01-2009, 05:16 PM
If in the name of "tolerance" & "diversity" every country in the world decided to open its borders and let immigrants transform it, every country in the world would look exactly the fcking same. Which would be just a bit of a fail.

Getta
12-01-2009, 06:17 PM
If in the name of "tolerance" & "diversity" every country in the world decided to open its borders and let immigrants transform it, every country in the world would look exactly the fcking same. Which would be just a bit of a fail.

I hate herding people like cattle. I'm more concerned about the function of individuals beyond the nation state.

Zirconek
12-01-2009, 07:26 PM
No need to go to extremes. Switzerland is an average European country, not more or less free, tolerant or respectful of human rights than any other. If anything, the Swiss have in their hands the chance to say f*ck off to politicians and their PC BS and go and vote on whatever they want. It doesn't make it more or less tolerant.

The minarets ban has no relation whatsoever with human rights.

So wrong, but then it's not surprising coming from you.

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

I won't say which article, I'd like you to read it all, maybe it can touch your conscience.

Commander Data
12-01-2009, 07:43 PM
So wrong, but then it's not surprising coming from you.

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

I won't say which article, I'd like you to read it all, maybe it can touch your conscience.

This articles would be a good read for everybody. This articles are violated everywhere, and I'm not talking about the minaret ban.

Sophocles
12-01-2009, 08:31 PM
I hate herding people like cattle. I'm more concerned about the function of individuals beyond the nation state.

Obviously individuals matter, but they have no "function" outside society, and the primary form of society in Europe is the nation-state.

Bibberz
12-01-2009, 08:47 PM
About the NYC school decision..

The fact is that, in this country, any group who is not the "majority" gets special treatment because the rest of us are so damn scared we will not be PC or we will appear "racist" or "closed-minded". So it is not necessarily about anti-Christian bias but just about being careful not to offend anyone outside of the Christian majority.

Any non-majority/minority group gets special treatment? That's a hell of a statement. :lol:

There are many cases where courts have upheld the First Amendment rights of the Ku Klux Klan. Were those just instances of courts being 'careful not to offend' too? Were courts just giving the Ku Klux Klan, a relatively small group, 'special treatment'? What about the minority groups who resented the KKK and took exception to the courts' decisions?

And when you say "NYC school decision" are you referring to the decision reached by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District (as opposed to the NYC DOE's holiday display policy)? I will assume you're talking about the court's decision since that's what Aloimeh and I were discussing.

Did you read the decision itself? Do you have any reason to suppose that the court decided this case this way because it was 'afraid of not being PC' and/or was 'careful not to offend'? If you have the read the case, feel free to the part that you think shows that the court is 'afraid.' If you have not read the case, well, then you pretty much just have a vague impression, which is utterly useless.

star
12-01-2009, 10:48 PM
I agree with a lot of your posts Star. I will have to say, though, that it is my opinion that people who choose to immigrate to the US should learn and use the English language. This is not to say that we should not learn other languages (my own children started learning spanish and chinese in pre-school) but English is the first language of this country period. I remember hearing about a Texas school who was trying to force all teachers to learn Spanish in order to accomodate the influx of Mexicans. This is absurd. I would never move to France and expect everyone to learn English just to accomodate me. If these families want their children to go to a Spanish speaking school they should find a private one and pay for it. Americans who study overseas do just this - or they learn the native language. :)

I agree that it is best to learn English if you have immigrated to the U.S. I think there are plenty of studies that show that English immersion is the best way for students to learn English and progress in school. However, I think that the children (who didn't make any decision to immigrate) should have special help while they are learning the language. I also would like Spanish taught to all children from 1st grade onward -- just as many European children learn English from an early age. I think the more languages we learn, the better off we are.

I listed the examples I did to point out to the poster that the U.S. has been dealing with this problem for a long time now rather than advocating a certain position. My position on languages is as I stated now.

Having lived in a foreign country and having been compeltely dependent on that country for employment and a place to live rather than as an American working for an American company, I have a real empathy for immigrants and challenges they face. Lucky for me, my native language was one a lot of other people speak -- at least a few words -- rather than some little known language. I think that would be very difficult.

Just as an aside, I know a man who moved from Slovenia to Austria when he was six and spoke not one word of German. Three years later he moved to the United States, and spoke no English. Now he has a PhD in chemistry and speaks without any accent at all. :hatoff: He's been a good addition to our country.

star
12-01-2009, 11:08 PM
There are limits to everything. Freedom of speech in the U.S. for instance (I always use the U.S. as an example since I lived there for some years and know a thing or two about it) is not literal. First amendment "rights" are guidelines. There are clauses, limitations and exceptions to all of those so-called rights.



I think that when it comes to civil rights that there are many things the U.S.should be ashamed of. I think that our citizens are not inately tolerant and so Thomas Jefferson was foresightful when he insisted on the Bill of Rights to amend the constitution.

The First Amendment, however, is not a "guideline." There is no way it could be ever called a guideline. There are interpretations of the First Amendment through decisions made by the court in the course of 2 plus centuries and perhaps that is what you mean.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

As interpreted by the courts, there can be restrictions as to time and place on speech, but it cannot be prohibited altogether. Nor is speech that causes danger to another such as the classic example of yelling FIRE in a crowded theater when there is no fire, protected speech. Also someone cannot threaten death to another without consequences.

Religon in the schools is a tricky area of First Amendment law. Truly, it has become a quagmire.

I don't see the U.S. as more tolerant, but the foresight of our founders in attaching the Bill of Rights to the constitution is :worship:

DrJules
12-01-2009, 11:26 PM
Switzerland does have a system of government often using referendum which ensures the government are more accountable to the views and opinions of the populus. In this situation it has resulted in a decision being made which many object. Would those who object to this decision prefer a system where the government said we know the majority object to the Minarets, but we have decided to go against the wishes of the majority and allow them.

What is the point in democracy if the wishes of the majority are not respected.

Bibberz
12-01-2009, 11:30 PM
The federal judge obviously agreed with the school board's decision to allow the Jewish and Islamic symbols but not the nativity scene.

Three appellate judges heard this case, and, yes, they sided with NYC's Department of Education.

I am not saying that I believe this is right or wrong but it does seem a double standard and there are many in this country. A person who calls for the removal of a Jewish symbol would immediately be called a "racist" or "bigot" but nothing would be said if someone wanted a Christian symbol removed.1. Would they really be called a "racist" or a "bigot"? A white supremacist group acrimoniously calling for the removal of Jewish symbols (and only Jewish symbols) might be called racists/bigots. But what if a prominent Christian organization sponsored a First Amendment claim? Who would call them racists/bigots? I wouldn't.

2. You're saying nothing would be said if someone wanted a Christian symbol removed? Something is always said, and Christians are usually the ones saying things. There are a hell of a lot of Christian politicians and interest groups in the country. Talking heads couldn't shut up about the "War on Christmas." If you couldn't hear non-Christians voicing their concerns over the removal of Christian symbols it's almost certainly because Christian voices drowned them out.

I am not saying that the judge was "afraid" in the context that you are implying. I am just saying that in this day and age in the US people are very careful not to offend a minority group.Okay, thanks for clarifying. That's a comment on the American public at large. Maybe you're right, but it does not logically follow that this court sided with the NYC's DOE for this reason--that's what I was driving at.

As for the KKK rulings that you sited I am not familiar. Were the courts upholding their rights to freedom of speech?Both their Freedom of Speech and their Freedom of Assembly (i.e. their First Amendment rights).

Bibberz
12-01-2009, 11:47 PM
What is the point in democracy if the wishes of the majority are not respected.

It's not that black and white. A democratic government also needs to safeguard minority groups' liberties.

star
12-02-2009, 12:38 AM
What is the point in democracy if the wishes of the majority are not respected.

What is the point in democracy if the wishes of the majority are allowed to oppress and subject a minority?

I'm not saying that the banning of minarets is opressive and subjects the minority -- although it certainly lets them know that a majority of the population doesn't care for their ilk. I'm only saying that a slavish devotion to majority rule has the potential to hurt minorities in a significant way.

I understand how the Swiss feel. I think if we could have the referendum in the U.S. the results would be the same. I would still deplore it.

Getta
12-02-2009, 12:45 AM
What is the point in democracy if the wishes of the majority are not respected.

how can you really guarantee that the majority consists of a collection of individuals who are true free thinkers and persons well informed about the reality and not only as brainwashed by campaigns as next man?

Garson007
12-02-2009, 12:58 AM
Referendums on constitutional matters are completely and utterly nonsensical, not to mention oppressive as it completely blocks out forms of human rights.

Referendums are ridiculous. This, Ireland, Proposition 8; need I say more?

Aloimeh
12-02-2009, 01:31 AM
Referendums on constitutional matters are completely and utterly nonsensical, not to mention oppressive as it completely blocks out forms of human rights.

Referendums are ridiculous. This, Ireland, Proposition 8; need I say more?

Yes, yes, you do need say more.

Referendums reflect the view of the people. Government is supposed to reflect the will of the people, at least in a very significant way. Without these referenda, we would be left with the impression that most people in EU countries are OK with Lisbon (and what about countries that never got referenda), that there's no opposition to the expansion of Islamic architecture across traditionally Christian countries, and that there's no opposition to gay marriage, at least in the state of California.

Without referenda, a narrowly-elected radical group can vote on vitally important social and political issues in such a way that the true views of the majority of the people are not reflected. The majority of California citizens DO NOT support gay marriage. The majority of Swiss citizens DO NOT support minarets. Etc.

Too bad (for you) that people aren't as PC as the politician scum that depends on votes from minorities and therefore peddles to them at the expense of core majorities.

Action Jackson
12-02-2009, 01:34 AM
Referenda are far from ridiculous and direct democracy works well in the Swiss society. The people should have a say on these things, there is enough distance and alienation from politicians and the electorate as it currently stands.

Doesn't mean we are going to like all the decisions.

Garson007
12-02-2009, 01:45 AM
Yes, yes, you do need say more.

Referendums reflect the view of the people. Government is supposed to reflect the will of the people, at least in a very significant way. Without these referenda, we would be left with the impression that most people in EU countries are OK with Lisbon (and what about countries that never got referenda), that there's no opposition to the expansion of Islamic architecture across traditionally Christian countries, and that there's no opposition to gay marriage, at least in the state of California.

Without referenda, a narrowly-elected radical group can vote on vitally important social and political issues in such a way that the true views of the majority of the people are not reflected. The majority of California citizens DO NOT support gay marriage. The majority of Swiss citizens DO NOT support minarets. Etc.

Too bad (for you) that people aren't as PC as the politician scum that depends on votes from minorities and therefore peddles to them at the expense of core majorities.
You're forgetting why we employ politicians to begin with. You forget why these politicians are put into parliament to begin with. You forget that these politicians are in assembly as representatives of their voters; in my country, every 0.25% in total votes gives a party a seat - which means that I get represented in parliament when I vote for a minority party.

We cannot expect the average citizen to know what's going on around them. We cannot expect of them to make informed decisions. And we sure as hell can't expect of them to have had any informal debates on the issue. The assembly is there to make sure that our core values are represented with completely informed opinion.

If the issue is constitutional however, which is the case with most of these referendums, it needs to be settled within the highest court of the country; not by its politicians and most certainly not by it's populace.

The fact that you think that most politicians even care about minority votes just amplifies your delusion in politics. Swing-votes, sure. Minority votes? Most certainly not.

Aloimeh
12-02-2009, 02:02 AM
You're forgetting why we employ politicians to begin with. You forget why these politicians are put into parliament to begin with. You forget that these politicians are in assembly as representatives of their voters; in my country, every 0.25% in total votes gives a party a seat - which means that I get represented in parliament when I vote for a minority party.

We cannot expect the average citizen to know what's going on around them. We cannot expect of them to make informed decisions. And we sure as hell can't expect of them to have had any informal debates on the issue. The assembly is there to make sure that our core values are represented with completely informed opinion.

If the issue is constitutional however, which is the case with most of these referendums, it needs to be settled within the highest court of the country; not by its politicians and most certainly not by it's populace.

The fact that you think that most politicians even care about minority votes just amplifies your delusion in politics. Swing-votes, sure. Minority votes? Most certainly not.

In my country, the United States, modifying the constitution is extremely difficult. It requires 2/3 majority votes from the House and Senate and 3/4 of the state legislatures majorities for ratification. Thankfully, it does not lie at the hands of 9 presidentially appointed-for-life judges sitting on the Supreme Court.

It is incredibly arrogant and illogical to suggest that the electorate is well qualified to choose executive and legislative representatives but is not well qualified to decide on issues themselves. If they can't weigh the issues, how can they weigh the candidates for office? Swiss democracy seems to work just fine.

Now, in the US we have politicians around to deal with the day-to-day work of passing mundane laws and seeing to their consistent and uniform application. Unfortunately we do not have referenda for core issues.

There is nothing to "inform" about the death penalty, abortion (at trimesters 1, 2, and/or 3), gay marriage, end of life care, physician assisted suicide, prayer in schools, etc. These issues are so frequently discussed in the US that there are truly very few people who do not have any knowledge of or have never considered these issues. For issues that are so socially important, there should be referenda, but unfortunately there are none.

Furthermore, while both the electorate AND representatives can vote for the "wrong" party out of ignorance, it is realistically only the representatives that can be easily manipulated by lobbying, bribery, fraud, and peddling to the electorate in a way that the electorate cannot be. A common citizen does not stand to maintain or lose office on the basis of how he votes on an issue in a referendum; the elected politician may fear loss of office on the basis of his voting (which is not a bad thing, necessarily). The common citizen does not depend on donations from individuals and organizations for funding an election campaign; the elected politician, who does depend on those funds, in turn must represent the interests of these donors in his voting. Finally, because a common citizen does not stand to gain or lose employment/benefits on the basis of his vote, he votes with his conscience; the elected representative cannot vote on his conscience consistently, for if he does, he will inevitably vote against the will of the people at one time or another (hence not democratic) or will vote for it against his own conscience and out of political expediency.

prima donna
12-02-2009, 02:12 AM
In my country, the United States
Take a look at the strife that environs Garson007's continent -- both political and social -- perhaps you would better empathize with such skepticism toward humanity.

Aloimeh
12-02-2009, 02:16 AM
Take a look at the strife that environs Garson007's continent -- both political and social -- perhaps you would better empathize with such skepticism toward humanity.

Are you referring to Africa? I doubt that any country there is democratic. Most seem to be ruled by corrupt elected or unelected leaders and weak and corrupt legislatures and courts. With true democracy, I doubt the situation could be any worse. Many people in Africa are aware of the corruption, waste, and rampant criminality - all three of which are facilitated by an arcane representative government that obscures the flow of money, goods, and influence from public scrutiny.

Garson007
12-02-2009, 02:18 AM
In my country, the United States, modifying the constitution is extremely difficult. It requires 2/3 majority votes from the House and Senate and 3/4 of the state legislatures majorities for ratification. Thankfully, it does not lie at the hands of 9 presidentially appointed-for-life judges sitting on the Supreme Court.
That's not what I said. For something to be a constitutional matter it has to be in relation with the current constitution (which imho this case will almost certainly fall under). It can't be such without being in the constitution to begin with. :p You are right however, most countries, including my own, makes use of the national assembly to modify the constitution on a 2/3 majority vote.

Would you rather have people educate themselves over the candidates/parties (I prefer a party based system myself) in an election, their core values, etc. Or over every single legislative issue that comes their way in a referendum. For me there is the easy and safe choice.

(imho) Certain choices just do not belong in the hands of the populace.

R.Federer
12-02-2009, 02:19 AM
What is the point in democracy if the wishes of the majority are not respected.

It's not that black and white. A democratic government also needs to safeguard minority groups' liberties.

You make it sound like majority votes are by definition anti-minority interests. That is certainly not always the case, not in Switzlerand and nor in the U.S., and probably not in other places either.

If it is the government's concern that the minority-interest may not be upheld, then a vote/referendum should not be held in the first place. You can't have a one-way bet, going to a vote and then deciding whether to accept that vote as legitimate depending on the results.

R.Federer
12-02-2009, 02:22 AM
how can you really guarantee that the majority consists of a collection of individuals who are true free thinkers and persons well informed about the reality and not only as brainwashed by campaigns as next man?

Well, you can't say one side (anti-minaret) is brainwashed and that the others (pro-minaret) are not. If everyone is brainwashed though, then we're back to neutral. And the vote will reflect the strength of brainwashing on the pro and anti side. But this is true of any vote, anywhere.

Garson007
12-02-2009, 02:28 AM
Take a look at the strife that environs Garson007's continent -- both political and social -- perhaps you would better empathize with such skepticism toward humanity.
This isn't a discussion about how well oiled my country is; any issues that may exist are almost solely contributed to a lack of education. The constitutional legislation in my country however is assuredly top-notch.

You can't have a one-way bet, going to a vote and then deciding whether to accept that vote as legitimate depending on the results.
You should ask Ireland about that one. :p

Bibberz
12-02-2009, 02:42 AM
You make it sound like majority votes are by definition anti-minority interests. That is certainly not always the case, not in Switzlerand and nor in the U.S., and probably not in other places either.

If you say so...

If it is the government's concern that the minority-interest may not be upheld, then a vote/referendum should not be held in the first place.You can't have a one-way bet, going to a vote and then deciding whether to accept that vote as legitimate depending on the results.
This seems too obvious to be worth mentioning.

El Legenda
12-02-2009, 02:46 AM
new minaret just finished in St.Louis MO, last year
http://www.juliagorin.com/images/StLouisMosque2.jpg
http://www.asiseeitnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/islamictower3-thumb.jpg

Mimi
12-02-2009, 03:10 AM
what a bad and unfair decision, seems the Swiss government/some of its citizens are not that fair as many thought :rolleyes:

Hokit
12-02-2009, 04:04 AM
I think the term "self-interest" can be used in different context's. There is no doubt that every country will obviously work for their own people and betterment and there is nothing wrong with it. I would laugh as well if someone said it negatively in that context.

But I've heard many arguments suggesting that Western countries are the saviours of the world and do it out of humanity. In that respect I laugh because it is out of self-interest rather than being genuinely concerned.

Out of curiosity, are you against immigration as a whole or just for the uneducated cheap labour migrants? I would have thought that the US being founded on immigration wouldn't mind being open to such if they were adding value. And as I said earlier culture is relatively fleeting.

With globalisation does any country really have any culture? I think rather than the other way around, it is more of the developing world losing their culture with multinational companies and Western ideologies being spread. I stay in Mumbai and am lucky enough to travel the world since I was a child. Rather than seeing the US or Europe having changed I see more of Western culture in India, the UAE, China etc.

Wonderful post :worship:

bokehlicious
12-02-2009, 07:43 AM
what a bad and unfair decision, seems the Swiss government/some of its citizens are not that fair as many thought :rolleyes:

You nailed it, most of us are just as bad as the guy you despise so badly, you know that Federer guy... :rolleyes: Next time, try to go elsewhere for your holiday...

Mimi
12-02-2009, 08:00 AM
You nailed it, most of us are just as bad as the guy you despise so badly, you know that Federer guy... :rolleyes: Next time, try to go elsewhere for your holiday...
i said some of you, not everyone of you, are you blind? :rolleyes: no freedom of speech is allowed, we can only said good things about your roger and your country? you said nothing bad to China :rolleyes:

don't worry, your country is way too clean for a person as dirty minded as me to visit again:wavey:

Garson007
12-02-2009, 08:03 AM
You nailed it, most of us are just as bad as the guy you despise so badly, you know that Federer guy... :rolleyes: Next time, try to go elsewhere for your holiday...
Don't worry; the swiss are a notoriously unfriendly bunch when it comes to foreigners, so I doubt many want to go on holiday there in any case.

bokehlicious
12-02-2009, 08:10 AM
Don't worry; the swiss are a notoriously unfriendly bunch when it comes to foreigners, so I doubt many want to go on holiday there in any case.

Sure. That's why she bothered coming here more than once... ;)

Mimi
12-02-2009, 08:17 AM
Sure. That's why she bothered coming here more than once... ;)

everyone made mistake, and I am not alone, but don't worry, for sure i will not visit again, i won't pollute your "friendly and fair" country:cool:

bokehlicious
12-02-2009, 08:21 AM
everyone made mistake, and I am not alone, but don't worry, for sure i will not visit again, i won't pollute your "friendly and fair" country:cool:

Yup, next time better stick to marvelous China :hug: ;)

bokehlicious
12-02-2009, 08:24 AM
Most polls in Europe show that most European countries would have had the same vote if the people were allowed to have a say... :o but since they can't express their feelings I guess that makes them less racist... :o

Garson007
12-02-2009, 08:29 AM
Most polls in Europe show that most European countries would have had the same vote if the people were allowed to have a say... :o but since they can express their feelings I guess that makes them less racist... :o
Of course it doesn't. They however do not make the racism a part of their legislation at the whim of their people.

orangehat
12-02-2009, 08:33 AM
Of course it doesn't. They however do not make the racism a part of their legislation at the whim of their people.

I doubt it was a "whim" of the people.

Your argument is flawed in the sense that Swiss people don't have the right to ban minarets but other countries' governments have the right to ban other stuff such as face masks in France or even simple chewing gum in Singapore.

So to put it simply, your argument states that the government > people, which I don't think is what most Western Democracies claim to do (I know some Asian Democracies do preach so.) However, that simply results in autocratic governments.

bokehlicious
12-02-2009, 08:37 AM
Of course it doesn't. They however do not make the racism a part of their legislation at the whim of their people.

Simply because they're not allowed to :shrug:

That said, I wouldn't want to sound like a pro since I voted against this object and am truly ashamed of the result... :o

Garson007
12-02-2009, 08:43 AM
I doubt it was a "whim" of the people.

Your argument is flawed in the sense that Swiss people don't have the right to ban minarets but other countries' governments have the right to ban other stuff such as face masks in France or even simple chewing gum in Singapore.

So to put it simply, your argument states that the government > people, which I don't think is what most Western Democracies claim to do (I know some Asian Democracies do preach so.) However, that simply results in autocratic governments.
Never said silly laws don't exist. Laws on chewing gum are not racist, a cultural building style however is.

I never said that the government was more important than their populace. I'm saying that we put politicians in government to represent us. It is what we pay them to do. It is their job. If you don't agree with a part of new legislation and you believe it to be unconstitutional, then by all means take the government to court.

orangehat
12-02-2009, 08:49 AM
Never said silly laws don't exist. Laws on chewing gum are not racist, a cultural building style however is.

I never said that the government was more important than their populace. I'm saying that we put politicians in government to represent us. It is what we pay them to do. It is their job. If you don't agree with a part of new legislation and you believe it to be unconstitutional, then by all means take the government to court.

right. because taking the government to court is so easy. I doubt it's even possible in Any non-US/non-European country.

Just because your country pays politicians to do that as their job does not mean every country wants that. I'm sure the swiss people had their reasons to make referenda so easy.

Chewing gum may not be a racial issue, but i deem it a deprivation of my rights.

Garson007
12-02-2009, 09:13 AM
right. because taking the government to court is so easy. I doubt it's even possible in Any non-US/non-European country.

Just because your country pays politicians to do that as their job does not mean every country wants that. I'm sure the swiss people had their reasons to make referenda so easy.

Chewing gum may not be a racial issue, but i deem it a deprivation of my rights.
I never said it was easy. Although if the matter is constitutional and you can convince others of such, you're almost guaranteed pro-bono representation in court. Then it becomes the advocates' problem.

Of course, every governmental system has its reasons. I'm just saying that whatever their reason might be for referendums, that they are, in my opinion, allowing for hate and ignorance to gain legislation.

Singapore absolutely despise litter, so it's only logical to ban chewing gum. Whether their anti-litter legislation has enough going for it to curb some freedoms, I wouldn't know.

JolánGagó
12-02-2009, 10:56 AM
don't worry, your country is way too clean for a person as dirty minded as me to visit again:wavey:

I told you, what were you doing there? :hug:

Sophocles
12-02-2009, 11:07 AM
Crying "racist" is not a substitute for argument.

R.Federer
12-02-2009, 11:14 AM
If you say so...


With an African-American president in one of the largest democracies where African-Americans are not the majority, I do say so...

orangehat
12-02-2009, 11:18 AM
I never said it was easy. Although if the matter is constitutional and you can convince others of such, you're almost guaranteed pro-bono representation in court. Then it becomes the advocates' problem.

Of course, every governmental system has its reasons. I'm just saying that whatever their reason might be for referendums, that they are, in my opinion, allowing for hate and ignorance to gain legislation.

Singapore absolutely despise litter, so it's only logical to ban chewing gum. Whether their anti-litter legislation has enough going for it to curb some freedoms, I wouldn't know.

I can think of much more issues in the US settled by a Senate or Congress vote that introduce hate and ignorance rather than through a referendum.

R.Federer
12-02-2009, 11:19 AM
You should ask Ireland about that one. :p

I have been wondering whether the EU has an eviction policy that they might exercise for Ireland :)

bokehlicious
12-02-2009, 12:06 PM
I told you, what were you doing there? :hug:

Hopefully she learnt from her mistake and next time she'll travel to see the real European haven: Spain :cool: :shrug:

Commander Data
12-02-2009, 12:30 PM
Referendums on constitutional matters are completely and utterly nonsensical, not to mention oppressive as it completely blocks out forms of human rights.

Referendums are ridiculous. This, Ireland, Proposition 8; need I say more?

Who is the most valid/legitimate authority to provide laws and rules a society lives by?

The King? The President? A Judge? A law court?

The Swiss believe it is the Society as a whole. You are free to disagree but you have no right to tell us what to do.

BTW: You make it appear as if any kind of referendum are allowed. As if the Swiss are stupid. All referendums have to be approved by the Houses of Parliament. Referendums that violate human rights are not allowed by law. The Swiss Parliament decided that the minaret referendum does not violate human rights and approved it for election.

Action Jackson
12-02-2009, 03:04 PM
I never said it was easy. Although if the matter is constitutional and you can convince others of such, you're almost guaranteed pro-bono representation in court. Then it becomes the advocates' problem.

Of course, every governmental system has its reasons. I'm just saying that whatever their reason might be for referendums, that they are, in my opinion, allowing for hate and ignorance to gain legislation.

Singapore absolutely despise litter, so it's only logical to ban chewing gum. Whether their anti-litter legislation has enough going for it to curb some freedoms, I wouldn't know.

So when Norway voted No to the EU, was this because of hate and ignorance, or not because that the majority of people decided that they weren't happy with transferring powers to a supranational organisation, so this must mean Finland, Austria and Sweden are bastions of tolerance for voting Yes.

Try understanding how particular societies developed and how this influences the political culture. For national referenda in Switzerland, there has to be a specific amount of signatures for it to reach a national referendum and these are on many subjects. Whether to join the EEA, drug policies, there was a cantonal referendum in Zurich whether to change the second language learned in that canton from French to English.

Direct democracy works there, considering they have a 7 member council with a rotating presidency. The fact governments and politicians need to be accountable to the electorate, direct democracy provides opportunities for the citizen participation.

It's like the Lisbon Treaty, if that was put to the member states in referenda, then it would not have been passed. That is not because of hate and ignorance.

Garson007
12-02-2009, 03:25 PM
I never said that every referendum is about hate or ignorance. :shrug: I'm only pointing out that referenda is not my preferred way of legislation. In that it doesn't require the electorate to educate themselves on the matters, whereas politicians have to.

R.Federer
12-02-2009, 03:31 PM
I never said that every referendum is about hate or ignorance. :shrug: I'm only pointing out that referenda is not my preferred way of legislation. In that it doesn't require the electorate to educate themselves on the matters, whereas politicians have to.

What is the better alternative? Aren't referenda a more direct way of expressing democracy than going through a middleman (e.g. a senator in the US) who might or might not vote in line with their constituency?

Put another way: if the popular vote had had a place in the U.S., Al Gore would have been president. Instead, through some convolution of an electoral college, the person that fewer people voted for, got to be. That to you is the better and more democratic way of legislating? Or are you saying/implying that it might be less democratic, but you prefer it anyway?

JolánGagó
12-02-2009, 03:31 PM
I never said that every referendum is about hate or ignorance. :shrug: I'm only pointing out that referenda is not my preferred way of legislation. In that it doesn't require the electorate to educate themselves on the matters, whereas politicians have to.

you're extremely naive in that respect, funny seeing your country's politicians...

Action Jackson
12-02-2009, 03:33 PM
If people don't want to vote on a particular referendum, then they don't have to. If the issue is worth voting on, then individuals will educate themselves, if they are interested. If they don't care, then they don't vote.

Politicians are there to serve themselves and their powerbrokers, they aren't there for the people, the only difference is the variance of who they serve.

Garson007
12-02-2009, 03:36 PM
Put another way: if the popular vote had had a place in the U.S., Al Gore would have been president. Instead, through some convolution of an electoral college, the person that fewer people voted for, got to be. That to you is the better and more democratic way of legislating? Or are you saying/implying that it might be less democratic, but you prefer it anyway?
I don't approve of that at all. I think the popular vote should have won. What the USA does is most certainly undemocratic. I do however understand why the USA works the way it does, in that states carry more responsibilities and legislative powers than provinces or counties.

R.Federer
12-02-2009, 03:40 PM
I don't approve of that at all. I think the popular vote should have won. What the USA does is most certainly undemocratic. I do however understand why the USA works the way it does, in that states carry more responsibilities and legislative powers than provinces or counties.

Okay.... so you don't like referenda, you don't like U.S. democracy and I am going out on a limb and assuming you don't like dictatorship.

If you could design the perfect legislating tool that both reflected people's views and was truly democratic, what would that look like?

Garson007
12-02-2009, 03:47 PM
Okay.... so you don't like referenda, you don't like U.S. democracy and I am going out on a limb and assuming you don't like dictatorship.

If you could design the perfect legislating tool that both reflected people's views and was truly democratic, what would that look like?
A multi-party based system, much like how my country is run today. If enough education exists then no party would ever gain above 50% of the vote and most certainly not 67%. In this way every individual is potentially represented by a party in the national assembly. It is then that party's duty and the members of the party sitting in parliament to educate themselves on matters in parliament and make decisions on them. It is expected of the party to uphold its election manifest during legislation as long as it doesn't negatively effect the country and its population.

Bibberz
12-02-2009, 03:49 PM
It's not that black and white. A democratic government also needs to safeguard minority groups' liberties.

You make it sound like majority votes are by definition anti-minority interests. That is certainly not always the case, not in Switzlerand and nor in the U.S., and probably not in other places either.

If you say so...

With an African-American president in one of the largest democracies where African-Americans are not the majority, I do say so...

What are you even on about now? :lol: My "If you say so..." response was directed only at your "You make it seem..." remark. I still don't see how exactly I made it sound like "majority votes are by definition anti-minority interests." (Don't bother explaining, by the way.)

Obama's election may or may not be relevant to whatever you were trying to say about majorities/minorities, but it has nothing to do with whether I made it sound like majority votes are by definition anti-minority interests.

We're done here.

Action Jackson
12-02-2009, 03:50 PM
Political parties don't serve the electorate, they used to have grand delusions about that.

The fact that proportional voting and referenda on important issues is a more inclusive way of including citizen participation in the electoral and government process.

bokehlicious
12-02-2009, 03:53 PM
If enough education exists then no party would ever gain above 50% of the vote and most certainly not 67%

You may disagree with those 67% (as I do) but saying they lack education is just plain wrong, voting is an important right here, those who don't care don't vote...

R.Federer
12-02-2009, 04:11 PM
A multi-party based system, much like how my country is run today. If enough education exists then no party would ever gain above 50% of the vote and most certainly not 67%. In this way every individual is potentially represented by a party in the national assembly. It is then that party's duty and the members of the party sitting in parliament to educate themselves on matters in parliament and make decisions on them. It is expected of the party to uphold its election manifest during legislation as long as it doesn't negatively effect the country and its population.

One second.... are you not aware that Switzerland has a multi-party system? It's not exactly the same as in SA, but there are all kinds of power-sharing agreements around the world.

Garson007
12-02-2009, 04:12 PM
You may disagree with those 67% (as I do) but saying they lack education is just plain wrong, voting is an important right here, those who don't care don't vote...
True. Personally, if the party who gets all the votes in my country didn't get all the votes, I would have voted for them. Instead I voted for a similar minded, but more centric minority-party. My point is that it is impossible that within a multi-party system, that 2/3 of the population agrees on a single party. It's very unlikely to simply impossible.

The problem comes in, in that the population either likes the current party in power, or they don't. So they go to vote for the party or for the premier opposition. They do not educate themselves about manifest. They do not understand what they themselves want in government. It is most certainly an education issue, although it does run a bit deeper into our humanity than it should. Everyone likes winning after all, so does the electorate and so do the parties. Politics shouldn't be about winning, but alas it is.

To be honest, I have no idea how the political system in Switzerland works. Using Germany as an example however (it's in another topic around here), it can clearly be seen that most of the German population is educated in how exactly a multi-party system works. For at least the last two terms there has been no 50% majority vote for a party and this is to the benefit of everyone.

One second.... are you not aware that Switzerland has a multi-party system? It's not exactly the same as in SA, but there are all kinds of power-sharing agreements around the world.
It doesn't matter, as far as Switzerland goes the only argument I have is about the use of referenda, not much else. So in actuality I'm moving way off-topic here.

tangerine_dream
12-02-2009, 04:49 PM
More b.s. from the fair land of neutrality...

'Switzerland makes it very difficult for foreigners to become Swiss'
An official report into the process of naturalisation in Switzerland says the current system is discriminatory and in many respects racist.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6992670.stm

bokehlicious
12-02-2009, 04:54 PM
More b.s. from the fair land of neutrality...

'Switzerland makes it very difficult for foreigners to become Swiss'
An official report into the process of naturalisation in Switzerland says the current system is discriminatory and in many respects racist.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6992670.stm

This happened in some small village, full of peasants, comparable to those in Texas, you know ;) and it's not valid anymore, people can't vote anymore on naturalisation...

star
12-02-2009, 05:17 PM
What is the better alternative? Aren't referenda a more direct way of expressing democracy than going through a middleman (e.g. a senator in the US) who might or might not vote in line with their constituency?

Put another way: if the popular vote had had a place in the U.S., Al Gore would have been president. Instead, through some convolution of an electoral college, the person that fewer people voted for, got to be. That to you is the better and more democratic way of legislating? Or are you saying/implying that it might be less democratic, but you prefer it anyway?

The electoral college is arcane. We might should dump it, but it's going to require a constitutional amendment, and that will be difficult. It's only going to come into play when the popular vote is quite close, and individual states like to retain what ever presidential elective power they can. These factors militate against the necessary impetus for amendment and also the numbers needed for amendment.

That said, the United States is not a pure democracy, and was never intended to be a pure democracy since around 1789. It's a republican form of government as are most of the "democracies" in the world. Where direct referendums are allowed, we see the same sorts of things that happen in Switzerland. I shudder to think what we would do without a constitution that put limits on what the majority can do. I would have been quite frightened to have been a devout muslim in the months following 9/11. Who knows what the populace would have voted directly had they been given the chance at that time? As it was, we made very bad decisions, imo.

Here's a link to an Al Jazeera article concerning the ban. I like to read Al Jazeera to get a different view than I get in the west. http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2009/12/200912281637353840.html

JolánGagó
12-02-2009, 05:25 PM
Where direct referendums are allowed, we see the same sorts of things that happen in Switzerland. I shudder to think what we would do without a constitution that put limits on what the majority can do.

There are constitutional and legal limits on what the Swiss can do through referendums.

Sophocles
12-02-2009, 05:27 PM
Err, it should be hard for foreigners to gain citizenship. Why do you think the Roman Empire fell you doofus?

Though I must admit I quite easily got Swiss nationality in addition to British. But that's because my mum's Swiss.

R.Federer
12-02-2009, 05:38 PM
The electoral college is arcane. We might should dump it, but it's going to require a constitutional amendment, and that will be difficult. It's only going to come into play when the popular vote is quite close, and individual states like to retain what ever presidential elective power they can. These factors militate against the necessary impetus for amendment and also the numbers needed for amendment.

That said, the United States is not a pure democracy, and was never intended to be a pure democracy since around 1789. It's a republican form of government as are most of the "democracies" in the world. Where direct referendums are allowed, we see the same sorts of things that happen in Switzerland. I shudder to think what we would do without a constitution that put limits on what the majority can do. I would have been quite frightened to have been a devout muslim in the months following 9/11. Who knows what the populace would have voted directly had they been given the chance at that time? As it was, we made very bad decisions, imo.

Here's a link to an Al Jazeera article concerning the ban. I like to read Al Jazeera to get a different view than I get in the west. http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2009/12/200912281637353840.html

How about a referendum to dump the electoral college? Oh wait, you'd first need a constitutional amendment to have referenda. But then, you'd also first need a vote to amend the constitution... I'm confused! :confused:

With the majority issue, it cuts both ways. If the U.S. did have recourse to popular vote or referenda on major acts, it might have avoided the war altogether. It may have avoided Abu Ghraib, the deaths of so many soldiers on both sides. It might not have bailed out greedy bankers (well, I'm divided on that one). It sounds like you prefer erring on only one side by having the constitution limit majority vote. Since the majority can go either "right" or "wrong" on any issue, the only fact remains that whatever way it goes it reflects what the majority want. It is very hard to push me off of how compelling that is.

Al-jazeera, not my most favorite of news feeds. But okay, it's nice to get all the different views on the matter. I saw this line "Geert Wilders says the Netherlands should also ban the construction of minarets". From other things I have read or watched on TV, it seems that Switzerland has brought some latent and some not-so-latent issues to the fore. I am worried about backlash, but hopeful that this is all contained.

DrJules
12-02-2009, 07:48 PM
What is the point in democracy if the wishes of the majority are allowed to oppress and subject a minority?

I'm not saying that the banning of minarets is opressive and subjects the minority -- although it certainly lets them know that a majority of the population doesn't care for their ilk. I'm only saying that a slavish devotion to majority rule has the potential to hurt minorities in a significant way.

I understand how the Swiss feel. I think if we could have the referendum in the U.S. the results would be the same. I would still deplore it.

In essence that is the inherent weakness in democracy. It tends to focus on the views and values of the majority and in the case of yes/no decisions it will go against the minority whose views will attract less votes. Modern democracies have tried to protect minorities through the use of legal frameworks giving rights to the individual and by many decisions not going directly to the electorate by being decided by political professionals in government votes.

You correctly raise the fact that possibly the masses possibly do not always know what is "the better decision" although that is a very subjective view.

DrJules
12-02-2009, 07:51 PM
how can you really guarantee that the majority consists of a collection of individuals who are true free thinkers and persons well informed about the reality and not only as brainwashed by campaigns as next man?

Agreed, but is any form of government perfect and every one seems to have its own strengths/advantages and weaknesses/pitfalls.

DrJules
12-02-2009, 07:57 PM
You make it sound like majority votes are by definition anti-minority interests. That is certainly not always the case, not in Switzlerand and nor in the U.S., and probably not in other places either.

If it is the government's concern that the minority-interest may not be upheld, then a vote/referendum should not be held in the first place. You can't have a one-way bet, going to a vote and then deciding whether to accept that vote as legitimate depending on the results.

In this case it possibly is.

The majority christian population not wanting Minarets having their view supercede the minority muslim populations wish to have Minarets on their mosques.

DrJules
12-02-2009, 08:05 PM
More b.s. from the fair land of neutrality...

'Switzerland makes it very difficult for foreigners to become Swiss'
An official report into the process of naturalisation in Switzerland says the current system is discriminatory and in many respects racist.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6992670.stm

At least the Swiss tend to make decisions that only effect the internal affairs of Switzerland.

The USA has a perpetual habit of interfering and meddling in the political and economic affairs of other sovereign nations without consideration for what the populations in these sovereign nations think. The USA could learn a great deal from the way the Swiss interact with the world.

star
12-02-2009, 10:44 PM
How about a referendum to dump the electoral college? Oh wait, you'd first need a constitutional amendment to have referenda. But then, you'd also first need a vote to amend the constitution... I'm confused! :confused:

The constitution contains a mechanism for amendment. This site explains it. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/usconstitution/a/constamend.htm
There are 27 amendments to the constitution.

With the majority issue, it cuts both ways. If the U.S. did have recourse to popular vote or referenda on major acts, it might have avoided the war altogether. It may have avoided Abu Ghraib, the deaths of so many soldiers on both sides. It might not have bailed out greedy bankers (well, I'm divided on that one). It sounds like you prefer erring on only one side by having the constitution limit majority vote. Since the majority can go either "right" or "wrong" on any issue, the only fact remains that whatever way it goes it reflects what the majority want. It is very hard to push me off of how compelling that is.

I would like to think you have a solid argument here, but you see my country more benevolently than I. The atmosphere was so bad after 9/11 that anything would have been approved by the majority of the people. People who were speaking out for peace were few and far between and many of them frightened to do so for fear of retaliation.

I understand that the referenda are part of the Swiss culture, and I respect that. I think it's probably a very good thing in a homogeneous society. I have difficulty with it in an extremely diverse society as we have here. I think it was wise to set in place certain firm limits on what the majority can impose on minorities.

Al-jazeera, not my most favorite of news feeds. But okay, it's nice to get all the different views on the matter. I saw this line "Geert Wilders says the Netherlands should also ban the construction of minarets". From other things I have read or watched on TV, it seems that Switzerland has brought some latent and some not-so-latent issues to the fore. I am worried about backlash, but hopeful that this is all contained.


Yes, I think it did make it an issue to be discussed openly,and gave a sort of permission to those who dislike immigration to express it. I think that there is always a brutal undercurrent of hatred and bigotry in every country -- and sadly, there are always those who seek to profit from it.

mediter
12-04-2009, 01:10 PM
[QUOTE]What is the point in democracy if the wishes of the majority are allowed to oppress and subject a minority[\QUOTE]

Absolutely.

I am still annoyed by how many people mistake "majoritarian tyranny" for democracy.This was the problem with democracies in the less enlightened times of the past and democrats have battled hard to find ways around this.

But its usually circumevented by politcal divide across the spectrum. you are not going to expect bleeding heart liberals to vote with hard nosed conservatives on many issues.

what unfortunately happened in this case was that the islamic world follows a political philosophy discarded largely by people of other religion. with recent events of terror, they are facing suspicion.

hence the muslims in switzerland were up against the odds.

people have to remember that when you talk about "majority" and "minority" in a democracy,its a "political majority" based on coincidence of socio political interests without being tainted by sectarian divides like race ,religion etc. Not a sectarian majority against a sectarian minority.
That's real democracy.

This is a decision tainted by a sectarian divide.

Individual rights and freedom of expression of religion cannot and should not be subjected to referendums.

Multiculturalism is best left to enlightened people(not that quality of the politicians are high ) and to subject it to a direct vote is a joke.

The simple reason is ordinary people nowhere in the world are angels.not just the swiss.

mediter
12-04-2009, 01:24 PM
Islam has demonstrated time and time again that its aim is not to encourage a private religion - as is the case
The strategies are war, immigration, and a high birth rate, and the aim is to use these demographic
transformations to effect political change.

Its not islam(which does not exist in reality.only intrepretations are ).but a political tradition.

they are continuing to follow a political tradition of "state= religion"

Seperating religion and politics is still alien to many muslims.



Perhaps Muslims need to consider all the hate and discrimination they wreak on non-Muslims in Muslim-dominated
countries.

this is bigoted rubbish. insinuating that everyone of them have the same ideology,values and intrepretations.



Too bad (for you) that people aren't as PC as the politician scum that depends on votes from minorities and therefore peddles to them at the expense of core majorities.


you are fast growing into a typical right wing fool. your unenlightened language has been used many times before.


And i am one of the biggest opponents of "political islam".

gulzhan
12-05-2009, 01:15 AM
Referedndums remind me of Soviet Union... in a bad way. It's not a way to decide on legal issues, it's just a political tool used for manipulation only.

Aloimeh
12-05-2009, 01:47 AM
[QUOTE]What is the point in democracy if the wishes of the majority are allowed to oppress and subject a minority[\QUOTE]

Absolutely.

I am still annoyed by how many people mistake "majoritarian tyranny" for democracy.This was the problem with democracies in the less enlightened times of the past and democrats have battled hard to find ways around this.

But its usually circumevented by politcal divide across the spectrum. you are not going to expect bleeding heart liberals to vote with hard nosed conservatives on many issues.

what unfortunately happened in this case was that the islamic world follows a political philosophy discarded largely by people of other religion. with recent events of terror, they are facing suspicion.

hence the muslims in switzerland were up against the odds.

people have to remember that when you talk about "majority" and "minority" in a democracy,its a "political majority" based on coincidence of socio political interests without being tainted by sectarian divides like race ,religion etc. Not a sectarian majority against a sectarian minority.
That's real democracy.

This is a decision tainted by a sectarian divide.

Individual rights and freedom of expression of religion cannot and should not be subjected to referendums.

Multiculturalism is best left to enlightened people(not that quality of the politicians are high ) and to subject it to a direct vote is a joke.

The simple reason is ordinary people nowhere in the world are angels.not just the swiss.

I think it is possible for a country to be accepting of other cultures while maintaining a strong core culture that drove the formation of the nation state. There's no reason to try to homogenize everything into one uniform blend of non-culture.

Aloimeh
12-05-2009, 01:51 AM
Its not islam(which does not exist in reality.only intrepretations are ).but a political tradition.

they are continuing to follow a political tradition of "state= religion"

Seperating religion and politics is still alien to many muslims.




this is bigoted rubbish. insinuating that everyone of them have the same ideology,values and intrepretations.






you are fast growing into a typical right wing fool. your unenlightened language has been used many times before.


And i am one of the biggest opponents of "political islam".

I don't know of a single Muslim-dominated country where non-Muslims have equal rights with Muslims. Even Turkey, the most secular of them all, has replaced religion with nation and continues to behave in a discriminatory way towards ethnic, if not religious minorities (e.g. the Kurdish situation, calling Bartholomew the Patriarch of Fener, closing the Halke seminary and preventing ordination into priesthood of (ethnic Greek) Turkish citizens, destruction of Armenian ruins in the east, etc.).

Perhaps Islam follows state=religion because the Koran encourages the establishment of political structures that seek to promote Sharia law - in stricter or more relaxed form.

buddyholly
12-05-2009, 02:25 AM
Referedndums remind me of Soviet Union... in a bad way. It's not a way to decide on legal issues, it's just a political tool used for manipulation only.

When did the Soviet Union ever have a referendum?

Henry Chinaski
12-05-2009, 04:16 AM
I don't know of a single Muslim-dominated country where non-Muslims have equal rights with Muslims. Even Turkey, the most secular of them all, has replaced religion with nation and continues to behave in a discriminatory way towards ethnic, if not religious minorities (e.g. the Kurdish situation, calling Bartholomew the Patriarch of Fener, closing the Halke seminary and preventing ordination into priesthood of (ethnic Greek) Turkish citizens, destruction of Armenian ruins in the east, etc.).

Mali is widely recognised as the most stable and democratic country in sub-saharan africa (maybe not saying much, but religious discrimination is not an issue).

senegal too is a model of democracy by local standards.

I won't pretend to know much about Indonesia but it regarded a free democracy by Freedom House among others so I doubt religious discrimination is much of an issue there.

turkey just ain't the most secular of them all.

mediter
12-05-2009, 06:21 AM
I think it is possible for a country to be accepting of other cultures while maintaining a strong core culture that drove the formation of the nation state.

i understand what you are saying.

but what has happened is the ban has infringed on the freedom of expression of religion.hence effectively the voters have trampled upon someone's toes with paranoia.That's not "defending a core culture".

you have to very careful about two things

1. individual rights
2. freedom to practise and express a religion

both constitute "private space" of individual(s) or group(s)

the role of a civilized govt has to be strictly in the "public space".

mediter
12-05-2009, 06:56 AM
I don't know of a single Muslim-dominated country where non-Muslims have equal rights with Muslims.


This is politics. everyone has their share of skeletons under the closet.

it won't be fair to judge ordinary muslims considering the political aspect alone.

if you are judging somone because they are a muslim, you are being discriminatory yourself.Savaging discrimination in other lands only becomes an exercise in hypocrisy

you still have to retain the ability to judge someone ,irrespective of religion if you are genuinely secular.

an average muslim may support an islamic state and sharia no doubt. but he may not be necessarily bigoted or discrimnatory.

the politcal system may be bad. but even good muslims are pushed to supporting it without malignant intent because that's their tradition.

they don't think an islamic state is necessarily discriminatory.
i have disagreed with them all along and have suggested this self defeating philosophy has to be discarded.

and equally this is not to deny some of them have ideologies that are bigoted and extremist.

the nation states in europe have to strike a balance.

they are right in

1 cracking upon dangerous elements with ideologies hostile to democracies.

2. Not letting bad elements of the islamic socio political traditions to creep in

they would not be right in

1. stereotyping all muslims as dangerous.

2. Insulting all muslims by discriminatory laws like the ban.
which means you are turning discriminatory yourself.


Turkey, the most secular of them all, has replaced religion with nation and continues to behave in a discriminatory way towards ethnic, if not religious minorities

you must be knowing that historical enmity between turks and greeks/armenians/kurds has a long history. No system can change people's hatred and prejudices.

however a multicultural democracy is the best way to encourage tolerance in a gradual manner.


Perhaps Islam

again who decides what is islam? Its billion followers are indivduals with varying ideoligues and values. they are bound to have multiple intrepretations. In effect there are "multiple islams"


follows state=religion because the Koran encourages the establishment of political structures that seek to promote Sharia law - in stricter or more relaxed form

quran talks about a ummah but not a nation state.

the politcal model was largely inherited historically from the early caliphates.

it finds sustenance for so long because most muslims feel islam is a complete code of conduct and that requires politcal control.

so islamic jurists do not accept that religion can be seperated from politics.

we ofcourse encourage private religion while following common law in public .

zeleni
12-05-2009, 01:24 PM
the politcal system may be bad. but even good muslims are pushed to supporting it without malignant intent because that's their tradition.
Who defines "good Muslim"? You? Tony Blair?
BTW this disputes with your following sentences from the same post.

again who decides what is islam? Its billion followers are indivduals with varying ideoligues and values. they are bound to have multiple intrepretations. In effect there are "multiple islams"





they are right in

1 cracking upon dangerous elements with ideologies hostile to democracies.

2. Not letting bad elements of the islamic socio political traditions to creep in
1. What makes you believe that everyone in the world is (or should be) enthusiastic about "democracy"? (Related to this, who is the one that decides what is and what isn't democracy, as we are aware of abuse of the term "democracy", as well as some other terms like "human rights", "free market"?)
What happens when someone's deeper beliefs oppose "democracy"?

2. Are you saying that state employees should control what is told in mosques and impose Blair's interpretation of Islam, as state knows the best what is "good Muslim" i.e. should state shape its model of acceptable Muslim? Do you think Muslims will accept to modulate their religion (that responds with eternity) so that it would fit current political system and its ideology?

gulzhan
12-06-2009, 12:21 PM
When did the Soviet Union ever have a referendum?

Many times. Both Constitutions of 1936 and 1977 were adopted by Referendums. All the Republics held referendums about staying in Soviet Union in 1989-90 years. Not that it mattered for the 3 bears in Belovezhskaya Puscha though :lol:

gulzhan
12-06-2009, 12:31 PM
I don't know of a single Muslim-dominated country where non-Muslims have equal rights with Muslims. Even Turkey, the most secular of them all, has replaced religion with nation and continues to behave in a discriminatory way towards ethnic, if not religious minorities (e.g. the Kurdish situation, calling Bartholomew the Patriarch of Fener, closing the Halke seminary and preventing ordination into priesthood of (ethnic Greek) Turkish citizens, destruction of Armenian ruins in the east, etc.).

Perhaps Islam follows state=religion because the Koran encourages the establishment of political structures that seek to promote Sharia law - in stricter or more relaxed form.

Kazakstan. We have some beautiful Russian Orthodox churches in Almaty that, I must admit, do look odd in terms of architecture and do stand out for a Muslim country such as Kazakstan.

I can easily imagine majority of population voting against the Russian orthodox churches in referendum especially if media does its dirty work. The very same arguments could be used. It's not difficult to manipulate people when such sensitive issues as religion are involved.

Again, I believe this referendum is void in its essense. To decide the issues like this one is the job for professionals, not for demos. A referendum as this one can not solve any problem, it can create many of them, yes.

Garson007
12-06-2009, 01:25 PM
All the Republics held referendums about staying in Soviet Union in 1989-90 years. Not that it mattered for the 3 bears in Belovezhskaya Puscha though :lol:
It would actually be interesting to see what the current thoughts of ex-soviet countries' populace are on rejoining Russia.

gulzhan
12-06-2009, 03:26 PM
You'd be surprised. Many of the Republics felt they were abandoned by Russia. I am also sure that it'd be better for Belarus, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, definitely Tadjikistan and maybe even for Kyrgyzstan. I know my region better so I can't speak for the other regions.

But no, Kazakstan would now vote against reunion with Russia because we did great economically unlike those stans. We are behind in terms of democracy but it takes time. And oriental people appreciate that.

We have a sort of union though which is sufficient. We will also form a united customs territory very soon.

Aloimeh
12-06-2009, 04:33 PM
Kazakstan. We have some beautiful Russian Orthodox churches in Almaty that, I must admit, do look odd in terms of architecture and do stand out for a Muslim country such as Kazakstan.

I can easily imagine majority of population voting against the Russian orthodox churches in referendum especially if media does its dirty work. The very same arguments could be used. It's not difficult to manipulate people when such sensitive issues as religion are involved.

Again, I believe this referendum is void in its essense. To decide the issues like this one is the job for professionals, not for demos. A referendum as this one can not solve any problem, it can create many of them, yes.

Kazakhstan and Central Asia may be an example, but they are a poor one. The entire area underwent a massive clampdown on all religion - Christian, Muslim, etc. under communist rule. Look at territories that were not so treated, or territories where clampdown was no effective, and the situation is quite different. For instance, while the Soviet anti-religious policy may have been effective on Central Asia, where people were settled in towns, villages, and cities, in Chechnya it was completely unsuccessful. Yes, the Chechen conflict is also about ethnicity and not just religion, but apparently Chechens, unlike Central Asians, Ukrainians, Baltics, etc. were not particularly "de-religionized" because they were up in the hill/mountain villages whereas the larger towns and Grozny were dominated by Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, etc. When Chechens came down from the hills, they instituted ethnoreligious terror over non-Chechens and brought political Islam with them.

Also, the policy was not successful in Azerbaijan, where conflicts with the Armenians often still take on a religious tone of Muslim vs. Christian.

R.Federer
12-10-2009, 01:49 PM
Revival of a hated thread :)

Next, we are going to vote on whether non-citizens who commit a serious crime (murder, for example) should be sent back where ever they have come from. One side argues that some of these criminals may end up back in a country where they will be tortured or otherwise politically targetted. So we now have to decide : is it Switzerland's problem to keep these criminals (pay for their upkeep and wellbeing in prison and the possibility of parole in many, many cases) or do they give up their "rights" to stay in Switzerland if they are convicted of doing something egregious?

My position on this is quite clear. Wondering what non-Swiss think of this. Is this also their human right, to stay in their temporary refuge regardless of their behaviour?

Aloimeh
12-10-2009, 01:50 PM
Revival of a hated thread :)

Next, we are going to vote on whether non-citizens who commit a serious crime (murder, for example) should be sent back where ever they have come from. One side argues that some of these criminals may end up back in a country where they will be tortured or otherwise politically targetted. So we now have to decide : is it Switzerland's problem to keep these criminals or do they give up their "rights" to stay in Switzerland if they are convicted of doing something egregious?

My position on this is quite clear. Wondering what non-Swiss think of this.

Deport them.

habibko
12-10-2009, 01:54 PM
so what is the status of Minarets in Switzerland now, are they officially banned?

R.Federer
12-10-2009, 01:59 PM
so what is the status of Minarets in Switzerland now, are they officially banned?
There are some movements internally to have a reverse vote. Not sure how much support there is (to even go through this again)

habibko
12-10-2009, 02:00 PM
There are some movements internally to have a reverse vote. Not sure how much support there is (to even go through this again)

but is the ban already in effect?

R.Federer
12-10-2009, 02:00 PM
Revival of a hated thread :)

Next, we are going to vote on whether non-citizens who commit a serious crime (murder, for example) should be sent back where ever they have come from. One side argues that some of these criminals may end up back in a country where they will be tortured or otherwise politically targetted. So we now have to decide : is it Switzerland's problem to keep these criminals (pay for their upkeep and wellbeing in prison and the possibility of parole in many, many cases) or do they give up their "rights" to stay in Switzerland if they are convicted of doing something egregious?

My position on this is quite clear. Wondering what non-Swiss think of this. Is this also their human right, to stay in their temporary refuge regardless of their behaviour?

Deport them.

Yes, that would be not unlike the U.S. policy -- see, the Swiss share a lot with the Americans!

Well, what is your position if they were political refugees and guaranteed to be persecuted (and perhaps even killed) in their home country?

bokehlicious
12-10-2009, 02:03 PM
Revival of a hated thread :)

Next, we are going to vote on whether non-citizens who commit a serious crime (murder, for example) should be sent back where ever they have come from. One side argues that some of these criminals may end up back in a country where they will be tortured or otherwise politically targetted. So we now have to decide : is it Switzerland's problem to keep these criminals (pay for their upkeep and wellbeing in prison and the possibility of parole in many, many cases) or do they give up their "rights" to stay in Switzerland if they are convicted of doing something egregious?

My position on this is quite clear. Wondering what non-Swiss think of this. Is this also their human right, to stay in their temporary refuge regardless of their behaviour?

Will we really vote on this? I thought they had to check if there wasn't anything against the human rights first? :o

Aloimeh
12-10-2009, 02:03 PM
Yes, that would be not unlike the U.S. policy -- see, the Swiss share a lot with the Americans!

Well, what is your position if they were political refugees and guaranteed to be persecuted (and perhaps even killed) in their home country?

Then its worse because they stabbed the country that gave them refuge in the back by perpetrating a serious crime. Deport them.

Besides, most of these true refugees who are in danger of persecution (maybe someone from the Middle East, Africa, or South Asia) are not the same as the fake "refugees" who are perpetrating the hard-core crimes like drug trafficking, trafficking people, mafia-style murders, ****** Swiss schoolgirls, etc. (snort, Kosovo Albanians).

R.Federer
12-10-2009, 02:04 PM
but is the ban already in effect?

Well I presume it has to be formally written into constitutional format, but yes it is legally binding until a reversal is put into place. Just an FYI-- there was little to no minaret construction underway, so there are no issues about completion of minaret projects and so on.

habibko
12-10-2009, 02:06 PM
Well I presume it has to be formally written into constitutional format, but yes it is legally binding until a reversal is put into place. Just an FYI-- there was little to no minaret construction underway, so there are no issues about completion of minaret projects and so on.

I see, thanks for the info :yeah:

R.Federer
12-10-2009, 02:06 PM
Will we really vote on this? I thought they had to check if there wasn't anything against the human rights first? :o

Yes, I always say --- if you want to commit a serious crime, please come do it in Switzerland because we are more concerned about everyone's human rights so much so that we are perpetually giving the 1-year and 2-year sentences to hard core criminals. :worship:

I think in excess of 200000 sigs have been collected for this, no? ... It seems that this will be less controversial than the other one.

R.Federer
12-10-2009, 02:09 PM
I see, thanks for the info :yeah:

Most people are hoping that the issue sort of just goes away. But it won't. For one there, there are isolated cases of towns going up to the ICJ in the hope of constructing a minaret (although my personal sense is that this is almost motivated by the vote to force the issue out again). And then, Sarkozy, Merkel and Scandinavians have used the issue to revive the debate in their own countries.

Ilovetheblues_86
12-10-2009, 02:12 PM
This is a neutral decision. "European mosques should stop mindlessly mimicking Eastern design and create prayer halls that blend into the landscape." Nothing bad at that, I think if you think of urbanism questions. But I wonder if thats really necessary.

bokehlicious
12-10-2009, 02:15 PM
Yes, I always say --- if you want to commit a serious crime, please come do it in Switzerland because we are more concerned about everyone's human rights so much so that we are perpetually giving the 1-year and 2-year sentences to hard core criminals. :worship:

That is so true... And quite a shame :o

nevenez
01-06-2011, 01:59 PM
All religion is a bunch of bunk. People who are Christian make me laugh when they put down Muslim terrorists - what do you call the KKK? Muslims make me laugh when they say that Islam is a religion of peace. Jews make me laugh when they invoke their history of persecution and turn around and justify stealing land from hard-working Palestinian farmers.

Marx had at least one thing right - religion is the opiate of the people. We would have a lot less to argue about if people stopped believing in all this superstitious nonsense and spent the money religious organizations put into their social clubs and propaganda and hush money to protect child molesters on actually helping the poor.

Ilovetheblues_86
01-06-2011, 08:00 PM
Marx researched xointhism or confucionism?