Of Churches and Swiss Minarets – by Mark D. Tooley

Mark Tooley is President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (www.theird.org) and author of Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Follow him on Twitter: @markdtooley.


Switzerland Minaret Ban

The startling resolve of Swiss voters to constitutionally ban new Islamic minarets was widely condemned by Swiss church groups, some of which had opposed placing the issue before Swiss voters at all.

“The Lutheran World Federation [LWF] regrets that some sectors of Swiss society and politics found it necessary to take the issue of the construction of minarets in Switzerland to a referendum, and to force a decision for or against a ban,” LWF chief Ishmael Noko complained to Ecumenical News International (ENI).  The Swiss-based LWF professes to represent nearly 70 million Lutherans globally, though its slant is always toward left-leaning and imploding European Protestantism.  ENI is the news service of the Swiss-based World Council of Churches (WCC), which has not yet but almost certainly will condemn Swiss voters.

Swiss-based church and ecumenical officials berated the anti-minaret referendum.  Some reluctantly acknowledged that Christians often have difficult building churches in Islamist-ruled nations or, as in Saudi Arabia , face outright bans.  But these protesting church officials insisted Switzerland ’s history of religious tolerance should not react against or replicate religious intolerance elsewhere.

This backhanded admission by some Swiss church officials that Christians and other religious minorities face restrictions, and sometimes lethal prohibitions, under Islamist regimes was at least ironically refreshing.  Groups like the LWF, the WCC, and the Swiss-based World Alliance of Reformed Churches are typically silent about persecution of Christians under Marxism and Islamism.  Instead, they prefer to mouth the leftist, anti-Western, anti-capitalist mantras of United Nations and European Community elites.  For professional ecumenical bureaucrats, promoting Global Warming alarmism, opposing U.S. foreign policy, condemning Israel , and berating free trade are far more important priorities than breathing a public word about persecuted Christians.

But the professional Euro-ecumenists, though largely unconcerned about their fellow religionists who suffer under Marxism and Islam, are often quick to defend Islam’s prerogatives. Lutheranism’s Ngo worried that the Swiss vote “undermines efforts at inter-religious understanding and harmony in Switzerland , and the Swiss reputation and heritage of tolerance and hospitality.” He also worried that the ban on new minarets was framed in “explicitly sectarian terms vis-a-vis Muslims.”

Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches chief Thomas Wipf also had condemned the very idea of Swiss voting on minarets. “Such questions should be discussed openly but the referendum initiative is counterproductive as it hinders dialogue rather than promoting it,” he told a news conference earlier this Fall with Swiss government officials and other cultural elites who were adament in their opposition. “This campaign against minarets is dangerous because it assumes that different religions cannot live together, that they have to fight each other. But we have to get closer,” he likewise explained.  “We have to learn to talk to each other. This is the real challenge!”

During the Swiss campaign Wipf defensively referenced Islamist mistreatment of religious minorities.  “Even if some Muslim states deprive their Christian citizens of their religious rights, that does not justify Switzerland persecuting its Muslim citizens because we should never answer one injustice with another injustice.”  He affirmed: “We are strongly in favor of enabling Muslims to worship in freedom and dignity, and if minarets are a requirement of their religion we call on them to explain that to Swiss public opinion.”  Motivated perhaps not just by religious freedom concerns but also more banal European multiculturalism, Wipf insisted:  “Cultural diversity is a characteristic of Swiss identity. It makes Switzerland strong.”

Wipf additionally heads the multi-faith Swiss Council of Religions, which similarly opposed the minaret referendum.  “For the members of a religious community, religious buildings are not only places to gather but also a symbol of their faith and an expression of their reverence for God. For many Muslims, therefore, mosques need to have minarets,” insisted this council, on behalf of Christian, Jewish and Muslim officials in Switzerland .  “The prohibition of minarets would injure these people in their dignity and their basic right to practice their religion,” further warned the clerics, who evidently were so distressed that their defense of minarets was their first such joint statement about any Swiss national referendum.

Minaret ban advocates asserted that mosque construction and other Islamic expression would be unaffected by the prohibition, which was specifically targeted against what they viewed specifically as the aesthetic and cultural intrusiveness of towering minarets.  But the interfaith council blasted away at the ban with an over 2500 word manifesto called “For Religious Coexistence in Peace and Freedom.”

“The Swiss Council of Religions supports integration instead of exclusion, as every human being is a divine creation from the point of view of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” their manifesto opened.   It insisted that “working for religious freedom in Switzerland and against restrictions on religious freedom in other countries [is] closely connected.”  It also surmised that “those who demand religious freedom for their own coreligionists in minority situations must not, when in the majority, deprive other minorities of the same rights. Supporting religious freedom must be a common concern for all religious communities – both here and throughout the entire world.”

What “other countries” did the interfaith council have in mind for concerns about religious freedom?  It did not say.  But intriguingly, the council did directly ask:  “Is Islam more than just a religion? What significance do human rights, democracy and rule of law, and the equality of men and women have from a Muslim point of view? Does Islam seek the status of an exception in Switzerland due to its religious precepts?”  The council offered no answers.  But the questions indicate that at least some Swiss religious officials have sublimated concerns that Islam’s ultimate role in Switzerland may be significantly different from traditional Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism.

The common inability of European secular and religious elites to address the potential threats of Islamist growth almost certainly fueled Swiss fears.  Rather than pointing fingers at Swiss voters, Swiss and ecumenical church officials might better examine their own failures.

  • Ron

    If the Swiss want to ban minarets, they have the right just as the ban of non-believers, churches are the right of the Saudi. Just as the Muslims have the right to want to convert the whole world.

  • Crickey

    Islamic scholars are blasting the ban on minarets and that's the trouble they love blasting everything. Anyway, what is an Islamic scholar, somebody good at making bombs and murdering innocents? I am going to buy another Swiss Army knife and put my money into a Swiss Bank. Merry Christmas.

  • Hildee

    it's not the minerets, it's the call to prayer that issues out over the country from them and once that starts, there's no going back so if the minirets have to be banned, so be it..those minerets are an invasion of other peoples beliefs..

  • Robert Bernier

    Every American should see this video !

    The ambition of Islam to conquer the world.
    For centuries Islam of the militants have been on the march to conquer the world. We did not notice because we chose not to notice. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1920 by Hassan al-Banna in Egypt and was in deep confrontation with the Egyptian government. The current goals for Islam to achieve global domination for a Muslim Caliphate: a world under strict Islamic “Sharia” law, pulling Muslims back to the 7th Century.

    Consult : http://xrl.us/bf66jj

  • Gamal

    The real problem with banning minarets is it makes it easier for non-Muslims to put their heads in the sand and pretend that Islam isn't taking over. The Swiss should hear the muezzin every day call their neighbors to prayer to Allah.

  • profaighedd

    1)The Swiss can decide what they want in their own country.
    2) In the last 60 years, how many churches have been constructed in the muslim countries? Zero!
    3) In the last 60 years, how many mosques have been constructed in Europe? Thousands!
    4) Every islamic commentator speaks about “discrimination” but tolerance is a 2-way street.
    5) When in Rome, do as the Romans do!
    6) Are the muslims in Europe listening?
    7) Don't be bamboozled by the premise that the Muslim countries will relax restrictions on infidels. Just read the Koran!!

  • truthywood

    I am athiest but I am totally shocked by acts are this racist thuggish western ideology.

    Search google images with this text “Church Masque” , There is not a single Christian majority country in world where both Masque and Churches are side by side, You will find hundreds of photos from Muslim majority countries where Churches and Masques are side by side. So that means when Christian are majority they don't allow masque near their Churches. but tolerant Muslims do.

    White Christianity is totalitarian ideology, They don't tolerate any body who does not look like them , talk like them or walk like them. Red Indians were first victims of this intolerant cult, than blacks, than people in their Colonies, than Jews (WW2), Now Muslims are new target of this cult.

  • truthywood

    In response to western hatred of Muslims and other Asian cultures, Asians should start hating Western Christian ideology, They should learn to hate from these western thugs. They must start putting bans on Churches, their crosses.

  • truthywood

    If Asians do not want to be next “Red Indians” than they should start protecting themself from this new western racist ideology.

  • truthywood

    And If these western thugs want a Church in Saudi Arabia than they should allow a Masque in Vetican first.

  • truthywood

    Its west who is attacking other countries since last 400 years, Its west who is colonizing other countries since last 400 years, Its west which is doing Genocides in other countries since last 400 years, According to Christians Jesus will come back and kill all non believers, Christians help Jews in massacring Palestinians because their loved one prophet Moses also killed millions of people in middle east for so called God given land.

    Now ban me you Christian thugs.

  • sufan

    Islam is pure evil to the core. islam is not a religion but a political movement to achieve global dominance. Show me a churhc or a hindu temple or a jewish temple in saudia arabia. Go to Egypt and see how they deal with the Coptic Christains, the egyptians treat them like animals, burn down their chruches at every riot and they dont allow new chruches to be build, infact you have to ask permission from the president of egypt to build a church.

    In Turkey, they have taken Hagia Sofia Church and turned it to a Mosque, then into a museum. Still they will not give back Hagia Sofia to be a church again. Muslims are hypocrates. Turkey has a mission to wipe off all churches and convert them into secular museums and thus will elimanate the christains populations.

    Christains are not allowed to be christains in middle-east, period. Now muslims shout. Give me a church, hindu temple, jewish temple, buddist temple or any other temple in the heart of Mecca or Medina and then I will voice my dis-taste for the swiss vote.

    http://www.faithfreedom.org
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com
    http://www.thethirdjihad.com

  • Manhattanite

    Truthywood –

    You must be a deranged man or a fanatic to write what you wrote.

  • BS77

    Along with the minarets, banning the mosques would be helpful. In Saudi Arabia or Syrian, Iran or Libya, how many infidel churches, synagogues or Buddhist temples are permitted? Yes, none. Coptic Christians are targeted for attack in Egypt….Christian school kids are decapitated in Indonesia. Churches were burned by the score in Serbia by your friendly neighborhood Islamists,

    Indoctrinated PC multiculturist LIBERAL fools made “diversity immigration” of paramount importance…in France, England, Germany and Holland, bleeding heart moron politicians, since the 1980s pushed through measures to “diversify” their societies….thinking, mistakenly, that this would “enrich” their nations….Trouble is, Muslims do not assimilate…do not recognize secular authority…and once they became an entrenched enclave numbering in the millions, the stupid liberal politicians were left gasping. They had created a mess and couldn't deal with it. In France, thousands of cars were burned, and the French government capitulated by appeasing the thugs with greater welfare payments and promises of better jobs.
    Now Switzerland comes along and says “enough already!” The Swiss want to maintain their nation; and predictably the hypocritical UN members start shouting, “Discrimination”. Yes, in fact, it is and some discrimination is a good thing. Would we like to see the swastika on buildings again? Or huge banners of Mao or Stalin? No, some restraint and limitations are very necessary for the maintenance of a constitution, a democratic voting process and the security of a society. Allowing Islamic needs to supercede all others is a recipe for disaster.

  • Manhattanite

    “Tolerant” muslims? Is this why they blow up markets, trains, buses, cafes and schools, or cut off infidels' heads, or issues death threats over a cartoon that they find offensive? Is this their idea of tolerance and co-existence? And where – should I ask – are those among those “tolerant” folks who would protest en masse, or raise their voice in protest against this abuse? Am I missing something?

  • hoolad

    Islam is pure evil to the core. islam is not a religion but a political movement to achieve global dominance. Show me a churhc or a hindu temple or a jewish temple in saudia arabia. Go to Egypt and see how they deal with the Coptic Christains, the egyptians treat them like animals, burn down their chruches at every riot and they dont allow new chruches to be build, infact you have to ask permission from the president of egypt to build a church. Remind you, Egypt was a Coptic Christain Country before Islam took over with the sword and now coptic christains are a minority in their own country. I Guess the Swiss have realized the danger soon…..

    In Turkey, they have taken Hagia Sofia Church and turned it to a Mosque, then into a museum. Still they will not give back Hagia Sofia to be a church again. Muslims are hypocrates. Turkey has a mission to wipe off all churches and convert them into secular museums and thus will elimanate the christains populations.

    Christains are not allowed to be christains in middle-east, period. Now muslims shout. Give me a church, hindu temple, jewish temple, buddist temple or any other temple in the heart of Mecca or Medina and then I will voice my dis-taste for the swiss vote.

    http://www.faithfreedom.org
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com
    http://www.thethirdjihad.com

  • 2maxpower

    I would prefer they banned the “religion” of islam. then the question of minarets would be moot.

    I don't expect that the blue mosque in istanbul will be given back to the christians any time soon. and really it belongs to them now just as israel belongs to the jews.

    regards

  • 93etro

    Truthywood, you need to pull your head out of the sand. You are the epitome of right=wrong, black=white, up=down……. Your “game” is old and full of lies. No one other than your ilk care about your elite, arrogant, pompous, narcissistic ways, until they get in the way of real life.

    You speak of tolerant muslims, but ignore the violent ones. Why? Where are the violent christians? We see lots of violent muslims killing non-muslims. Where is that happening with christians? We all know that you're an athiest, but you need to show the rest of us where in the Bible it teaches christians to kill non-believers, since you seem to believe that this is currently happening. And please don't be stupid enough to compare soldiers against terrorists and terrorists against civilians. That's another tired and fruitless argument. You also seem to have a little bit of a short term memory problem. Do you remember Bosnia??? What were the “bad” western christians doing there? You, my good friend, are what we like to call a fool……

    Why don't you go and figure out how to be of benefit to all people, not just to non-believer, non-white, othersexual peoples???

  • 93etro

    They've already done this in China, goofy…….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melvin-E-Holliday/1550491502 Melvin E. Holliday

    I have no problem with giving Muslims the freedom to worship as they please as long as it doesn't effect me or my beliefs. There-in lies the problems. Muslims want it all. It is either their way or the hi-way. Their philosify is, convert to their religion or die. Since I don't want to die, their religion is very distasetful to me as it should be to the rest of the non-Muslim world. Muslims are slowly but surly taking over the world and if left unchecked to do as they please we will soon all be Muslims or be dead. This is very unappealing to me and I hope someone does something about it before it is too late.

  • Timmy

    “There is not a single Christian majority country in world where both Masque and Churches are side by side, You will find hundreds of photos from Muslim majority countries where Churches and Masques are side by side. So that means when Christian are majority they don't allow masque near their Churches. but tolerant Muslims do.”

    Your analysis is interesting but you need to ask why this situation exists. You need to look at a tiny bit of history. Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and many other religions all existed for thousands or in the case of Christianity 600 years before Islam was even invented. At that point Islam went rampaging out of Arabia conquering and subjugating the existing civilizations. They destroyed the temples and churches of the existing religions or converted them to mosques. Even the temple mount with the filthy al aqsa mosque is built right on top of a subjugated population's most precious site. So if you see a church it was most assuredly there long before Islam came along and put the mosque there. That the Muslims did not destroy every single infidel temple means nothing. They merely got tired out or chose to allow a few to remain so they could say there were tolerant, but the subjugated populations had to know who was boss and that if they got out of line the tolerant Muslims would destroy their church or temple.

  • kafir4life

    Why would you get banned, truthywood? We love you! You are all that is islam, the gutter cult invented by a pedophile murderer, best known for raping a 9 year old girl!

  • LindaRivera

    Multi-faith Swiss Council of Religions: 'an expression of their reverence for God. For many Muslims, therefore, mosques need to have minarets,”The prohibition of minarets would injure these people in their dignity and their basic right to practice their religion,” further warned the clerics'

    Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey publicly read an Islamic poem: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and Muslims our soldiers…”

    Western countries must fight for their culture & freedom – not submit as inferior dhimmis to Islam. There are many no-go Muslim areas in Europe, UK, Israel & India where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter. In some cities in Europe, ambulances require a police escort to enter a Muslim area. Muslim extreme violence and high crime rate cause Europeans enormous anxiety over the huge and ever increasing Muslim colonization of Europe/UK which will result in the Muslim conquest of Europe/UK, where under Islamic sharia law, women are regarded as inferior and non-Muslims have no human rights. The freedom that was fought and died for in the two world wars utterly destroyed. Their deaths must not be in vain!

    Muslim Demographics (alarming)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU

    In Sweden, many Muslim youth wear a t-shirt proclaiming: “2030-then we take over”

    The End of Europe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfOmQ4Eo_as

  • LindaRivera

    Why is the Swiss Council of Religions silent regarding the enormous suffering of Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, et al, from cruel Islamic persecution?

    ASSYRIAN INTERNATIONAL NEWS AGENCY
    8-11-2009
    Abduction and Forced Islamization of Christian Coptic Girls Continues in Egypt

    (AINA) — The systematic abduction and forced Islamization of Coptic minor girls in Egypt is a frequent, dangerous and a rapidly escalating phenomenon, The problem was brought to light by the Coptic Pope Shenouda III as far back as December 17th, 1976, when he protested during a conference held in Alexandria that “there is pressure being practiced to convert Coptic girls to embrace Islam and marry them under terror to Muslim husbands” and demanded that the abducted girls be brought back to their families.

    Dr. Waheed Ala, renowned Coptic activist and researcher at the Observatory of Religions in Switzerland, believes that the issue of abducted Coptic girls forms the most complex problem in the relations between Christians and Muslims of Egypt — especially because abductions are done in cooperation between Saudi-funded associations and the Egyptian State Security.

    These frequent abduction cases are reported by Coptic human rights advocacies but rarely by the main stream media, and when, they are mostly portrayed as 'an elopement of a loving teen couple.

    …in the majority of cases, the State Security is the one who masterminds the kidnapping plans.”
    http://www.aina.org/news/20090811125748.htm

    The U.S. gifts Egypt with 2.2 billion dollars every year.

    'He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.' Bible, Exodus 21:16

    Saudi authorities shred all Bibles found on anyone at the airport in Saudi Arabia. Bibles that contain the unchangeable laws of G-D.

  • Matt

    And what about Christian's desire to want to convert the whole world? Christian non profit around the world disguising themselves as benign charitable organizations using the lure of free and cheap money to force local citizens to join the flock. Then there's the case of Christian Microfinance organizations from Africa to Asia to Latin America that actually charge 25%-75% interest rates on their loans in order to fund the building of churches and their proselytizing. When these people have no other route to seek funds it puts them in a pretty tough spot don't you think?

    Now I am against proselytizing in all religions but lets not put the blame solely on Muslims when historically they have spread their religion far more passively than Christianity has.

  • LindaRivera

    Hamas/PA Target JEWISH INNOCENTS. Israel Targets Terrorists

    Elites oppose Jews defending themselves from thousands of rocket attacks.

    In a military response several years overdue, Israel warned Gaza civilians via loudspeakers, thousands of leaflets and 200,000 telephone calls urging evacuation of battle areas. The IDF aborted missile strikes to prevent civilian casualties, opened a field clinic for Muslims on Gaza's border, and constantly gave humanitarian aid whilst Hamas waged WAR against innocent Israeli civilians.

    The Islamics commit war crimes: they use human shields; hide behind women and children; wage war from densely populated areas, store and fire rockets from residential buildings, schools, hospitals & mosques to deliberately MAXIMISE Arab injuries and deaths so that when Israel fires back in self defense and accidentally kills civilians, the Islamics scream to the world, but the blood of the Arabs is on the heads of the Islamics.

    Hamas Charter of RELIGIOUS HATE and Genocide of Non-Muslims:
    'Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims. Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.'

    It is not about land, it's about intense religious hate that demands the mass murder of non-Muslim innocents. Jews are targeted first.

    An Israeli hospital treated a Muslim woman-she returned strapped with a bomb belt to blow up amongst the Jewish doctors and nurses who helped her.

    Hezbollah leader Nasarallah:
    If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide. (Daily Star, Oct. 23, 2002)

    The planned Second Holocaust extends far beyond Israel. Leaflets were distributed in major British cities which included slogans such as: “The final hour will not come until the Muslims kill the Jews.”

    Britain's response? “police appeared reluctant to prosecute because the calls to fight the Jews were carefully couched in quotes from the Koran.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1370900/

    Does Britain believe it's acceptable to call for the Religious Murder of Jews and other innocents because it's in the Koran? In a frightening violation of the Peoples' right to protection, the UK showed respect for the public call to murder non-Muslims because it's in the Koran!

  • LindaRivera

    Hamas TV video teaches that bombs that kill Israelis are more precious to an Arab mother than her children.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIBNRVgq59Y

    Religious HATE and Religious MURDER of Jews and other non-Muslims is taught in mosques worldwide.

    Palestinian Authority Muslims CELEBRATE 9/11 Murders of 3,000 American innocents.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrM0dAFsZ8k

    The Palestinian Authority hailed as heroes the terrorists who brutally murdered defenseless 8 months pregnant Jewish mother, Tali Hatuel, and 4 little daughters in Gush Katif in May 2004.

    Muslim killers of Jewish children are adored-Palestinian Authority newspaper al-Hayat al-Jadida called savage child-killer Kuntar “a beacon of light” and an “authentic role model.” Palestinian Authority leader, Abbas, called Kuntar a hero. Syria's Assad said Kuntar was chief among honorable men and awarded Kuntar Syria's highest medal, the Syrian Order of Merit.

    ISRAELINSIDER.COM
    Thousands of Palestinians again celebrate attacks, videotape suppressed
    By Ellis Shuman and israelinsider staff September 16, 2001

    On Friday and Saturday, thousands of Palestinians again paraded through cities in the West Bank and Gaza, celebrating the attacks on the United States.
    “Jubilant Palestinians took to the streets of refugee camps of Lebanon and the West Bank, waving Palestinian flags and distributing sweets to celebrate the attacks.

    “Palestinian policemen celebrating and shooting into the air, in addition to civilians dancing,”
    …Arab students at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem held a party Tuesday night celebrating the attacks and giving out candy to participants.
    http://www.israelinsider.com/channels/diplomacy

    Hamas Member of Parliament Fathi Hammad, February 29, 2008 on Al-Aqsa TV that for PA Arabs, “death has become an industry at which women excel… The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children.”

    Translated by MEMRI, Hammad : “This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life.”

    There has not been a single Muslim street demonstration to protest the cruel, massive Islamic attacks on non-Muslims in New York, Bali, India, Phillipines, Israel, London, Beslan, Madrid and more.

    ACJ – Vilified: TELLING LIES ABOUT ISRAEL
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op5vT3vnfOk

  • Peter

    Minarets are not like church steeples. They are a sign of Islamic superiority. In Islamic countries a minaret must always be higher than a steeple. In Egypt a church cannot be built within a certain distance of a mosque, in the unlikely event that they will even get a permit. Each mosque is effectively a state within a state. Do the Swiss really want the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer five time a day? I think not. It will forever alter the character of Switzerland. The Swiss have conclusively exercised their democratic voice. Islam is fundamentally anti-democratic. Good for the Swiss

  • NoseForNews

    I can understand why people would criticize this, personally I feel that this is throwing fuel on the fire. At the same time, the Swiss voted on this ban, and their votes have to mean something. So why does everyone else have an opinion? http://bit.ly/4QhzFX

  • tanstaafl

    “The kingdom of heaven will not be achieved until the very rocks and trees cry out – “O muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me! Come and kill them!”.”

  • stefcho

    Swiss Council of Religions: “Supporting religious freedom must be a common concern for all religious communities – both here and throughout the entire world.”

    Precisely, but that's exactly what is NOT happening – and decades of “interfaith dialogue” (which we may as well call 'Muslim dialogue' since it's the only religion in need of it) has produced nothing but hot air and trivial platitudes.

    Islam, to my knowledge, is the only religion which claims the 'right' to impose its dogma on non-believer's (as well as those who choose to be Muslim). “Moderate” Muslims may not press this 'right' (as orthodox Muslims do), but the justification for this right is right there in the Qur'an, the Hadith and in the example of the prophet himself. So what are we going to do about that; apart from offer more interfaith dialogue?

    The left suggest we should continue to offer political and religious 'equality' to Islam whilst other religions suffer religious and political persecution in Islamic lands. Furthermore, again according to the left, European's don't even have the right to preserve their own culture and mores – let alone dare to ask for reciprocation from those who move in.

    Perhaps Europe should face facts – Islam hasn't changed in 1400 year and doesn't seem to even recognize the need for compromise. Europe continues to hold out its hand in friendship and equality and, in religious and cultural terms, is being constantly intimidated and pushed back. Perhaps it is time for our hand to be withdrawn.

  • DemocracyFirst

    Actually, Islam has spread almost entirely by the sword, beginning with Mohammed himself, the first Islamist.

  • lonniekwartler

    The atheist, Truthywood, must believe there is no god. He demonstrates his faith in no facts, therefore no truth, including spelling. The Swiss have, with tolerance, only voted to slightly inhibit mosque architecture. Switzerland starts with the problem of unity of having over three languages. It is entitled to try to remain an existing nation. It is too small to be a melting pot. If everyone in the world, especially those who are not tolerant, settled in Switzerland it would be nor more. If the Swiss do not have enough children and need too many foreign workers, it is all over. Perhaps, there could be a compromise that allows mosques to get paid to allow the construction of cell phone towers on their roofs. Then the mosques would have Potemkin minarets.

  • Pedric

    Freedom of religion is relevant only when religion is not politics. There is no secret that Islam grants itself a global imperial mandate and is a system of explicit political and social tyranny. The religion part is, at best, one third of Islam, and at worst mere window-dressing for political tyranny.

    So long as this is true, Islam does not merit the freedoms enjoyed by other religions, which do not explicitly and outspokenly seek to subvert, overthrow, and replace democracy, freedom of thought and conscience, rule of law, equality before the law, and the entire ideal of universal human rights.

    So long as Islam actively denies freedom and seeks to overthrow freedom, it does not deserve to have freedom.

    That does not mean Muslims should be oppressed within democracies (they are already oppressed under Islam itself and within the dar al Islam). It means that Islam as an institution should be subject to restrictions and legal oversights commensurate with its claimed mandate to impose tyranny.

    In particular, restrictions and oversights means the ulama especially should be regulated, and strictly prosecuted for hate speech. Given the ideology of Islam, the ulama themselves should have no guarantee of private speech.

    Likewise, it means that the wearing of hijab, and especially the wearing of burkhas, should constitute prima facie evidence of abuse. The homes of these woman should be visited by social workers, and the women should be interviewed privately and well away from their male relatives. Safe houses dedicated to women who have fled hijab should be established and advertised.

  • AmericanCries

    “historically they have spread their religion far more passively” as they passively murder Christians!!!!!! YOU ARE IGNORANT OF WHAT YOU SAY. THEY HAVE MURDERED THOUSANDS OF CHRISTIANS AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. YOU INSULT THE LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.

  • DemocracyFirst

    You're replying to the wrong person. My post agrees with you and disagrees
    with the poster who said otherwise.

  • DemocracyFirst

    This is a succinct, pointed, well taken comment:

    “Freedom of religion is relevant only when religion is not politics.”

  • andrewnitzberg

    Factual inaccuracies in your statement include:

    (i) Christian Microfinance groups DO NOT CHARGE 25% interest and

    (ii) the right to present your message to others in the hope that they might agree with you [proselytizing] is also known as FREE SPEECH.

    You identify yourself as deceitful and against the basic precepts of a free society.

  • andrewnitzberg

    This is wacky stuff.

    (i) Actually, church and mosque do sit side by side here in New York City [see Brooklyn].

    (ii) In these places you mention (Indonesia for example) the mosques are purposefully built next to churches to interfere with access to the church. In fact, it should be noted that it is an article of Muslim faith everywhere that the Mosque be taller than the church and the call to prayer of the Muslim suzereighn drown out all other public speech. In Indonesia, the call to prayer is electronically amplified and is turned up to full blast on Sundays.

    Please try investing in reality.

  • AmericaCries

    I ment that for the post from matt. Sorry, my reply wasn't ment for you.

  • stevefromeerie

    I gotta admit, that is the first piece of Modern art which I love. Heck. Give me a corporation and I will give that man $800,000 just to by it, put it in my office, and bring arabs to it. I am going to say

    “Oh those Catholics *chuckle* *chuckle*

    Now give me the money, sandbag! Click CLACK!”

    I like it. Very swedish. Stop or you are cheese! Just have Ah-Nold do the voice over with a couple of realistic rapid fire shotgun blasts and maniacally orgasmic laughter.