Swiss Vote Bans Muslim Minarets

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GENEVA � Over 57 percent of Swiss voters on Sunday approved a blanket ban on the construction of Muslim minarets, according to official results posted by Swiss news agency ATS.

A final tally of 26 cantons indicates that 57.5 percent of the population have voted in favour of the ban on minarets — the turrets or towers attached on mosques from where Muslims are called to prayer.

Only four cantons rejected the proposal brought by Switzerland’s biggest party — the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which claims that minarets symbolise a “political-religious claim to power.”

Honestly, I think that this should be the policy of the west until Muslim countries change their policies toward Churches and other religions/beliefs within their own countries.

They’ll complain, but, they haven’t a foot to stand on.  Especially the most vocal of the complainants such as Saudi Arabia.  The unholy House of Sa’ud rails against intolerance of Islam in other countries, yet, they are intolerant of any other religion or belief within Saudi Arabia–even forcing non-Muslim women to wear the hijab–and are the primary exporters of Wahhabism and Islamic Fundamentalism throughout the globe.

All religions are bi-polar.  At once espousing peace and war, intolerance and inclusiveness.  Islam is no worse a religion than any other in my opinion.  It’s leadership, though, leaves much to be desired.

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The U.N. Human Rights Committee called the posters discriminatory and said Switzerland would violate international law if it bans minarets.

If this is the case, then why is Saudi Arabia not in violation of International law.  There are several Muslim countries with these restrictions against building religious structures.  Seems a bit of a double standard to me.  The UN should clean up the primary violators of international law before they go looking for villains in a country like Switzerland.

If a backlash against Islam is in the offing, much of the blame can and should be placed squarely on the shoulders of leadership of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Palestine and Syria.

Minarets of Herat

The Minarets of Herat

The Minarets of Herat

I can’t get out to these parts of town.

So…I gave my camera to my boys Shoaib and Wahid.  They cruised down to the Minarets and took these photos for me and did a pretty good job of it.

Great photos.  I cropped and shaped some of them up a bit.  The photos give an excellent idea of the experience of visiting these ancient edifices. I would love to be able to get out there someday and see the Minarets myself.  Touch them.  Feel their spirit or their vibe so to speak.

Perhaps I’ll get the chance someday.

These links give a bit of background information about the Minarets.

Wikipedia

Times Online

Letters from Herat

Function of a Minaret

As well as providing a visual cue to a Muslim community, the call to prayer is traditionally given from the top of the minaret. In some of the oldest mosques, such as the Great Mosque of Damascus, minarets originally served as watchtowers illuminated by torches (hence the derivation of the word from the Arabic nur, meaning “light”). In more recent times, the main function of the minaret was to provide a vantage point from which the muezzin can call out the adhan, calling the faithful to prayer. In most modern Mosques, the adhan is called not in the minaret, but in the musallah, or prayer hall, via a microphone and speaker system.

In a practical sense, these are also used for natural air conditioning. As the sun heats the dome, air is drawn in through open windows and up and out of the shaft, thereby causing a natural ventilation.

Minarets have been described as the “gate from heaven and earth”, and as the Arabic language letter alif (which is a straight vertical line).

The world’s tallest minaret (at 210 meters) is located at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. The world’s tallest brick minaret is Qutub Minar located in Delhi, India. There are two 230 meter tall minarets under construction in Tehran, Iran.