The Drums of War beat slow and steady...
Switzerland approved Sunday a ban on new minarets from being built, with the referendum initiated by far-right politicians picking up strong support.
To the dismay of the Muslim minority here, some 57.5 percent of voters who cast ballots and 22 out of 26 cantons voted to ban the towers or turrets attached on mosques from where Muslims are called to prayer.
Far-right politicians across Europe celebrated the results, while the Swiss government sought to assure the Muslim minority that a ban on minarets was "not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture."[..]
They said that the minarets -- of which Switzerland has just four -- were not architectural features with religious characteristics, but symbolised a "political-religious claim to power, which challenges fundamental rights."
Having won a double majority on turnout of 53 percent, the initiative will now be inscribed in the country's constitution.
"The Federal Council (government) respects this decision. Consequently the construction of new minarets in Switzerland is no longer permitted," said the government, which had firmly opposed the ban, in a statement.[..]
Switzerland has had an uneasy relationship with its Muslim population, which makes up some five percent of its population of 7.5 million people. Islam is the second largest religion here after Christianity.[..]
"The most painful for us is not the minaret ban, but the symbol sent by this vote. Muslims do not feel accepted as a religious community," said Farhad Afshar, who heads the Coordination of Islamic Organisations in Switzerland.
The Conference of Swiss Bishops also criticised the result, saying that it "heightens the problems of cohabitation between religions and cultures."
The Netherlands is considering a similar ban. Even if this was done with the best of intentions, if one group perceives persecution, they will react accordingly.
Anyhoo. Just another mile laid on the highway to Armageddon.