n International Journal for Religious Freedom - Thinking twice about the minaret ban in Switzerland : in my opinion




In the last few days we have begun to hear the various international protests against the actions of Swiss voters, to not allow the construction of future minarets in their small alpine nation. Very few thoughtful readers should be surprised that Aljazeera is complaining about 'intolerance,' 'extreme Islamophobia,' and 'religious hatred.' In this context, Aljazeera seems to agree with Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, who called the ban an "example of growing anti-Islamic incitement in Europe by the extremist, anti-immigrant, xenophobic, racist, scaremongering ultra-right politicians who reign over common sense, wisdom and universal values." Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey has been quoted as saying that religious minorities in Turkey (who are often Christians) enjoy greater liberties than religious minorities in Switzerland (who are often Muslims). And the claims that the Swiss referendum violates the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights have not been surprising. Are we entering a new phase in the so-called "Clash of Civilizations?"


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