Page last updated at 13:45 GMT, Sunday, 29 November 2009

Swiss vote on banning Muslim minarets: Your Views

The Mahmud Mosque's minaret in Zurich
The Mahmud Mosque in Zurich has one of Switzerland's four minarets

The Swiss have been voting on whether to ban the building of minarets in their country.

The proposal is backed by the Swiss People's Party (SVP), which claims minarets are a sign of Islamisation, but the government opposes the ban.

BBC website readers have been telling us what they think about the proposed ban.


I stand for an open-minded Switzerland. That's why I can only be against this initiative of banning minarets in this country. We've got more than 400,000 Muslims living here. Certain parties have to accept that with globalization more and more people from other countries are coming here to work, to pay their taxes and to live peacefully among other Swiss families and citizens.
Marc Metzger, Kirchberg, Switzerland

I think the people of Switzerland have the right to ban the building of minarets. This is not a Muslim country and we have our beliefs and traditions.
Steve, Zug, Switzerland

It seems strange to me that this would even be an issue. Imagine what a country like Spain would look like today, had someone placed a similar 'religion-inspired' ban on its architecture. There would be no mosques, cathedrals or palaces and these are the monuments that make Spanish architecture so culturally rich. It's also hard not to think of it as being discriminatory since only one religious group is being targeted.
Anonymous, Dubai, UAE

As a secularist Turkish person studying in Switzerland, I can sympathize with the desire to resist the Islamisation of society. The sovereign Swiss have a right to democratically decide how they wish to live.
Bora Arigsoy, Geneva, Switzerland

The proposal to ban minarets panders to the prejudices of the general public and is the latest example of a series of scaremongering initiatives by the Swiss People's Party. It is a populist measure designed to win political influence and does not stand the test of scrutiny.
Paolo Jacomelli, Lugano, Switzerland

Switzerland's architecture has a distinct flavour and any building that would distract from that flavour should be banned. City planners would never allow a minaret to be built so as to clash, say, with the Royal Crescent in Bath. It's the same with Switzerland except they have a more nationwide concern.
Doc, Le Viseney, France

The Swiss People's Party has put integrated Muslims living in Switzerland in the same basket with al-Qaeda fanatics, and the most ignorant and poorly-educated members of Swiss society have bought into this rubbish. Those of us who have integrated Muslim friends here have voted 'no' because we can make that distinction.
Penelope Haccius, Rolle, Switzerland

If the ban is placed I believe Europe as a whole will have lost the moral ground to express its concern about free speech and religious freedom in the developing world.
Shozab, Karachi, Pakistan

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

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



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