Page last updated at 06:06 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Papers express dismay at Switzerland's ban on minarets


The decision by voters in Switzerland to back a ban on the construction of minarets is seen as an ominous sign by several of Monday's papers.

The Guardian feels it shows there is "hatred beneath the harmony" in the country and believes its "cherished national brand" has been "tarnished".

"The spectre of religious and racial intolerance was raised over Switzerland," writes the Independent.

But the Times thinks it "fits a wider pattern of populist protest" in Western Europe against perceived Islamisation.

Society's 'bedrock'

"Death of the nuclear family" reads the Daily Telegraph's front page headline.

The prediction comes from a government-backed institute and warns children are increasingly "raised by their relations rather than parents".

The Daily Mail is worried that the Tories are reneging on their plans to back marriage through the tax system because of budget pressure.

Marriage is "the bedrock of society", it says, and "what could be more important than standing up for it?"

'Engage the enemy'

Gordon Brown's criticism of Pakistan for failing to capture Osama Bin Laden is welcomed by the Times.

Despite talking about the considerable terrorist threat within its borders, Pakistan "still appears reluctant to engage its enemies head-on", the paper writes.

The Daily Express agrees that the prime minister "did not hide his frustration" at Pakistan's leadership.

But the Daily Telegraph thinks it is the West that has "taken its eye off the ball" when it comes to the region.

'Scampered off'

The Sun is furious that Whitehall fat cats have apparently "blown almost £30,000" on champagne for official parties this year.

When it comes to public servants living it up on the taxpayer, "the cat is not only out of the bag, it has scampered off down the street," it says.

But the Daily Mirror is angry at the Tories, specifically wealthy Parliamentary candidate Zac Goldsmith who has admitted enjoying non-domicile tax status.

The paper feels he is "unfit to be an MP - even a Conservative MP".

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