The Dec. 4 editorial on the Swiss ban of minarets on mosques is a classic example of political correctness and appeasement. It appears that I may be in a minority on this issue since according to The Guardian of Great Britain, “The [Swiss] government, mainstream political parties, the churches, the main newspapers, the national president, the powerful business lobby, and the Vatican all opposed the ban.” In addition, your editorial states that several major Jewish organizations are opposed as well. Frankly, that doesn’t surprise me either.
This ban was proposed and enacted by far-right organizations in Switzerland which have become active and highly popular as a backlash to what is believed by many to be the “Islamization” of Europe. The growing popularity of right-wing groups is not good for Europe or anywhere else in the world and especially not good for Jews. Huge immigration numbers and extremely high birth rates assure that in the not too distant future, Muslims will be the majority population and will dominate the politics of certain nations. Many, if not most, of the Muslim population have chosen not to assimilate and integrate into the culture and politics of their chosen countries, and this is what is causing widespread fear and concern amongst the populace. Thus there is this backlash by voters not normally given to extreme politics.
Add to this the recent pictures and articles (some not given press coverage in the United States) of the violent Muslim protests against the Israeli tennis team in Sweden as well as Muslim demands for some Shariah laws to be enacted in England. Germany, Belgium, Holland, and other European countries are all experiencing so-called “peaceful” Muslim protests. And that is precisely the point, when most of the world protests an unpopular action, it is just that, a protest, not the violent behavior of the Muslims we see in every corner of the globe.
I have read five definitions of the term “minaret.” All explanations were architectural in nature and did not have a religious context. The minaret is no more crucial for a mosque’s facade than a magen David would be to a shul’s edifice. Also, respected journalists have written of the Muslim intent to layer the landscape in Europe with huge mosques as a way of demonstrating dominance.