Nov 29 2009

No (more) minarets here

by at 7:25 pm

Today, Switzerland’s direct democracy permitted a clause banning new construction of minarets in Switzerland to be added to the Swiss constitution.  That’s right.  It happened.  See the Swiss news story in English here.  See where it’s made the homepage of the New York Times here.

I wrote about the nasty and offensive campaign a few weeks ago. I started seeing a counter-campaign, which included many of the people I know, which gave hope.  Not to mention the government’s outright disapproval.  But, it passed just the same.  To everyone’s supposed surprise.

It’s like Switzerland’s Prop 8.  It’s easier to motivate people to fight injustice afterward…but it probably would have been better to mobilize the populace against minaret bans before it came into law.  Disappointing.  At least our canton of Vaud and the one in which I attend school, Geneva, were two among the four who voted against.

Take that, minority rights.

Update:

Here’s the cantonal breakdown: .

There were demonstrations against the vote tonight in Bern and Zurich, including the raising of make-shift minarets:
(“integrate rather than exclude”)

Make your own! (PDF download to print and assemble)

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “No (more) minarets here”

  1. Lizon 29 Nov 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Yuck yuck yuck. Also you should know that when I saw the NY Times story I came straight here to see what you guys had to say. :)

  2. Alexon 29 Nov 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Fascism on the march!

    Just heard a story on NPR. Do you know if the European Court of Human Rights can overturn it, and if they can what the chances are they will?

  3. Jackieon 29 Nov 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Glad you have faith in our blog and that I made time to write up something, Liz.

    Alex, I’m not entirely sure about the European Court of Human Right’s ability to overturn it. We will probably be discussing this case hypothetically in my international law class this week, and perhaps then I can give a better answer. My hunch would be that they can say it is against international law, but because Switzerland is a democracy and this vote had democratic validity, it will be quite difficult in practice for the court to force a change in the Constitution, even if it might hold the government accountable in some other way.

  4. peteron 30 Nov 2009 at 12:16 am

    demonstrations against the vote in basel too. facebook-group with 32’000 members rising.

  5. Sethon 30 Nov 2009 at 12:27 am

    Right you are. Just found it: “Ich schäme mich für das Resultat der Minarett-Initiative!” (I am ashamed of the outcome of the minaret initiative)

    Interesting that it doesn’t seem to mention any activities in Suisse Romande.

  6. Margareton 01 Dec 2009 at 1:48 am

    It’s astonishing that things like this, and like Prop 8, can happen in places that seem accepting and (to outsiders at least) progressive. Am I incorrect to think of Switzerland as a progressive country?

  7. [...] our last post, there have been protests all over Switzerland, yesterday and tonight, and I went to the one in [...]

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