"Swiss voters back ban on minarets in referendum.
In what is being called 'huge surprise,' about 57.5% of citizens accept far-right call to oppose 'Islamization of Switzerland'. Result certain to embarrass country's neutral government.
Swiss voters approved a ban on construction of new minarets on Sunday, a surprise result certain to embarrass Switzerland's neutral government. The Swiss news agency ATS and other media said about 57.5% of voters and all but four of the 26 cantons approved the proposal in the nationwide referendum, which was backed by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP). The government and parliament had rejected the initiative as violating the Swiss constitution, freedom of religion and the country's cherished tradition of tolerance. The government had said a ban could "serve the interests of extremist circles". "
The vote against the building of more minarets is a huge blow for the Swiss government, which had beforehand stated that it was strongly against holding the referendum. For the Liberal Democrats and the Christian Democrats in the four-party coalition that is the Swiss government, the explanation for their reluctance is clear: they fear backlash from the muslim world which has gigantic assets in their country. The ties go beyond the merely financial aspect though: the prime organization of the salafist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, opened its first and most influential embassy in Geneva. It was headed by a certain... Said Ramadan, father of you-know-who. But back to the Swiss government. In the case of the third party making up the current coalition, the socialists (the fourth party is the rightwing SVP, which called for the referendum), there is like in every European country the evident dhimmitude and self-loathing element which lies at the base of their opposition to the popular vote. Here, too, the Swiss leftists have been tripping over each other to import and accommodate as many immigrants as possible, especially muslims. In this regard it is impossible to get around a person like Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. On the photo you see her in 2008, at the occasion of the signing of a dubious gas deal with Iran. But there is more to this lady under that veil than you would expect. She was the first Swiss official to protest vehemently the refusal of the Bush administration to grant a visa to Tariq Ramadan, islam's "leading intellectual" in Europe and a citizen of Geneva. And in the same year as her controversial encounter with Ahmadinejad, she stated in front of the international press that she would be okay with direct talks with Osama Bin Laden to end the terrorist threat. I am not kidding:
GENEVA - Switzerland's foreign minister told top diplomats on Monday she favours direct talks with Osama bin Laden to tackle the threat of terrorism. Micheline Calmy-Rey, who has raised both eyebrows and hackles with her controversial style, told Swiss ambassadors gathered in the capital Bern that they needed to talk to "heavyweight political figures" on the world stage even if they are considered persona non grata by other powers. "This even goes as far as sitting down at the same table as Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden," she said. Switzerland does not have any list of banned organisations to which it will not talk, unlike other countries. Calmy-Rey said that groups as diverse as Hezbollah, the FARC guerrillas in Colombia, Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka and the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda are all "essential in the search for a resolution" of different conflicts worldwide.
It's only natural that Calmy-Rey & Co. would like to have as many minarets as possible spoiling the Alpine skyline. Expect a lot of bruhaha in the coming days from their corner hinting at the racist edge in the Swiss popular vote, and it wouldn't surprise me if they wouldn't try to look for means to circumv.... hold on a second, did I say "coming days"??? Silly me!!! Haha, barely an hour after the result got known, the chairman of the Swiss Greens and a comrade of Calmy-Rey (though his party does not participate in the government), Ueli Leuenberger, called SVP's initiative "unconstitutional" and stated that he would bring the referendum's outcome to the European Court for Human Rights.
Who would have thunk it???
Swiss, stick to your guns. And I mean that also literally, knowing that you have plenty.