Although Switzerland’s decision to ban minarets (Dec. 3) was uncalled for, some of the letters from readers (Dec. 5) were even more disconcerting. Granted, many Middle-Eastern countries are rather one-sided when it comes to religious integration. However, they do not call themselves neutral, harmonious, or lands of diversity. They call themselves Arab ‘Muslim’ countries. Then why expect them to treat non-Muslims and foreigners alike? This is where the Switzerland episode differs. For a country that has long been known for its neutrality and diversity, the ban on minarets does not come across as a wise move. How can a country preach global harmony and peace when its ‘values’ are quite like those of the same countries it criticises? This is why the move is bigotry and double standards at its best.
If the liberal society of Switzerland has voted against the minarets then we must understand their viewpoints, tensions and fears before condemning the move. It is well known that Europe is under demographic assault by Islam. It is distressing to see how some followers of Islam, when their population goes beyond a certain percentage, tend to create and maintain their separate identity rather than assimilating in the country of stay. The riots in France is an example. Today we find that radical Islam is affecting the developed and “free” countries.
The point of view that as a majority of the Swiss population has voted in favour of a ban the decision is democratic is simplistic. A majority in any region determining what rights the minority has is not democratic.