Switzerland bans construction of minarets

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Partisan » 2009-12-08, 22:24

Zorba wrote:Venezuela, where on 15th February this year, a referendum passed allowing Chavez to stay in power indefinitely and the people voted in favour of new laws which contravene freedom of speech, allowing the government to close down media outlets that disagree with Chavez and do not give sufficient air time to his speeches?


Mistake! The referendum was to know if the continuous reelection would be allowed for president, governors and mayors like it is for members of national, regional and city parliaments.

And you're mixing responsability of the media and freedom of speech. I must remember that the private mass media supported the millitary coup against Chávez in 2002. Freedom of Speech don't mean liberty to say randomic things without appointment with the true.

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2009-12-08, 23:01

Zorba wrote:
Rumpetroll wrote:And Milošević wasn't democratically elected, as he was first elected by the communist party of Serbia, it was only after he rose to power that the first multi-party (''democratic'') elections were held. With state controlled media, so Milošević's opponents had 0 media coverage, plus were often, especially in later years of the nineties beaten, sent to jail, etc...


I don't really want to get into this here as it's off topic, but AFAIK most commentators recognize that a majority supported Milosevich in his first (1989) election and although the elections weren't entirely transparent, he would have won a victory in any case:

http://www.slate.com/id/1006263/


There were no elections in 1989, he was made president of Serbian Communist Party and using that position he took the role of the president of Serbia, it was in the elections in 1990 and 1992 that he got those suspicious electoral victories, but in 1997 his party(in spite everything, frauds, violence, media censorship etc..) didn't have the majority.
So, before he commited warcrimes - he won the elections
after - he lost the elections

And it's still a bad example because he didn't have genocidal policies, all he talked about in late 80s, early 90s was to protect Yugoslavia, and especially Serbs in Yugoslavia. He wanted Serbs to have more power, because after all Serbs were the majority in Yugoslavia.

I don't want anyone to think I'm his supporter or anything.. I mean the guy managed to lose 4 wars in a decade.. I'm just saying that it's not okay to equalise him with Hitler, who actually spoke about persecution of Jews before he got to power, whereas Milosevic didn't do such thing.. probably not even after he got to power..

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Zorba » 2009-12-08, 23:51

It's an interesting topic, though I don't have time to research Milosevic right now. I was thinking of the alleged police brutality in Kosovo in the late 80s/ early 90s as well as the Greater Serbia ideology which claimed the Republika Srprska.

What percentage of Serbs and Bosnian Serbs would you say supported the Milosevic-led campaign of expelling Bosnian Muslims from Republika Srpska? Would the policy have had majority support if it had been put to referendum?

Note that this isn't meant as singling out Serbia, nor did I mean to equate Milosevic's Serbia to Hitler's Germany in terms of the scale of their atrocities. My point is that there are many different kinds of societies where the majority will deprive the minority of civil and human rights. My own country, Northern Ireland, used majority rule to deny civil rights to its Catholic population for decades. We have had to invent a very convoluted power-sharing executive in our government to prevent the problem of the majority abusing its power.

I am willing to concede that I am wrong about using Milosevic's Serbia as an example of this phenomenon if you show me enough evidence.

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby KingHarvest » 2009-12-09, 5:03

Ah yes, the 'you're ignorant-argument' ... to be used when all hope is lost.

When, in the United States, the police are asked for the 'ethnicity' of a suspect, they'll either reply 'caucasian, black, hispanic or asian.

If you'd ask the same question to a European police officer (s)he'd mention the persons cultural background. For example 'he's a Turk/German/Italian/Serb'.

So I know very well what I'm talking about, and you've demonstrated what you know.


Uno - What hope is lost? I haven't argued about anything in this thread prior to this.

Dos - You're still wrong, the word "race" would be used.
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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2009-12-09, 8:46

Zorba wrote:It's an interesting topic, though I don't have time to research Milosevic right now. I was thinking of the alleged police brutality in Kosovo in the late 80s/ early 90s as well as the Greater Serbia ideology which claimed the Republika Srprska.

What percentage of Serbs and Bosnian Serbs would you say supported the Milosevic-led campaign of expelling Bosnian Muslims from Republika Srpska? Would the policy have had majority support if it had been put to referendum?

Note that this isn't meant as singling out Serbia, nor did I mean to equate Milosevic's Serbia to Hitler's Germany in terms of the scale of their atrocities. My point is that there are many different kinds of societies where the majority will deprive the minority of civil and human rights. My own country, Northern Ireland, used majority rule to deny civil rights to its Catholic population for decades. We have had to invent a very convoluted power-sharing executive in our government to prevent the problem of the majority abusing its power.

I am willing to concede that I am wrong about using Milosevic's Serbia as an example of this phenomenon if you show me enough evidence.


Well.. you may be right...:) Bosnian Serbs would, in my opinion, be 99% for, and Serbs in Serbia.. the number would have been smaller, but still..

Maybe if people were shown the kind of consequences their actions could do, then they wouldn't vote that way?
I doubt many people would still be for genocide if they see movies about families being killed just because people voted for it..

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Boes » 2009-12-09, 15:33

Zorba wrote:
No it isn't. It's about you claiming that direct democracy will lead to ghetto's, persecution as well as murder and that indirect democracy is to be prefered because the foolish masses need to be led by people who know whats 'good' for them.


The topic of the thread is the Swiss decision to ban minarets.

Indeed, that's the topic, not the discussion you and I were having.

Zorba wrote:Whether this decision came from a dictator, an elected government, a monarch, or direct democracy, I would oppose it because I believe that it contravenes the liberal principles of human rights and civil liberties.

If the majority of a certain people don't want something, they should be able to refuse it. That's called the freedom to choose.


Zorba wrote:I don't believe that any form of government is perfect, but I do believe that some forms of government have proved better than others when it comes to maintaining civil liberties and human rights. As far as I can see, direct democracy does not have a particularly good record on this score. I've given some examples of problems with direct democracy already.

There haven't been any modern states with true direct democracy yet; so how can you judge them?

Fact is, most governments in the past century, in which more people died because of war than in the combined 20 that preceded it, were (former) indirect democracies.

That said, I find it hard to believe any breaches of human rights of that magnitude would ever occur among a direct democracy.
Zorba wrote:I repeat my question: Which specific historical or contemporary examples suggest that a society can combine the principles of direct democracy with civil liberties and human rights?

Like I said before, modern indirect democracies have yet to emerge. As a certain level of technology, especially concerning communication, is required. Earlier, and virtually the only, examples would be hunter-gatherers.

KingHarvest wrote:
Ah yes, the 'you're ignorant-argument' ... to be used when all hope is lost.

When, in the United States, the police are asked for the 'ethnicity' of a suspect, they'll either reply 'caucasian, black, hispanic or asian.

If you'd ask the same question to a European police officer (s)he'd mention the persons cultural background. For example 'he's a Turk/German/Italian/Serb'.

So I know very well what I'm talking about, and you've demonstrated what you know.

You're still wrong, the word "race" would be used.

I'm not going to play the "facts, books and dictionary vs. 'I live there, you don't'-game" with you alright?

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Zorba » 2009-12-09, 17:33

Boes wrote:If the majority of a certain people don't want something, they should be able to refuse it. That's called the freedom to choose.


As I've explained, this conception of democracy as "majority rule" is overly-simplistic and virtually no constitution relies on it, nor do political scientists. The reason being that it doesn't account for the fact that the majority often want to take away the human rights and civil liberties of the minority. That's the point of the wolves and sheep analogy.

If I am Jewish and I want to celebrate Hanukkah on Friday, but the majority of people in my country vote that they don't want any Hanukkah celebrations this year, they have the freedom to choose, but where is my freedom of choice?

Or let's say the majority vote away their own right to freedom of choice? They have a referendum where 56% vote that they don't want any more referendums, they just want their Leader to take all executive decisions for them. As you can see, the "freedom of choose" raises many more complicated issues than you suggest.

There haven't been any modern states with true direct democracy yet; so how can you judge them?


This sounds remarkably like the mantra "there haven't been any states with genuine communism yet".

Fact is, most governments in the past century, in which more people died because of war than in the combined 20 that preceded it, were (former) indirect democracies.


Correlation does not imply causation. There are various reasons why the twentieth century is the bloodiest. Part of the reason for the high body count is that killing techniques grew more sophisticated and the total number of the population was higher. Many (though not all) of the warmongering and bloodiest societies were dictatorships: Kaiser's Germany; Soviet Union; Hitler's Germany (once he got democratically-elected, he dismantled the apparatus of democracy); Mao's China; Khmer Rouge etc.

Earlier, and virtually the only, examples would be hunter-gatherers.


So you disagree with the mainstream argument that Athens was direct democracy?

Among the countries today which have developed a tradition of direct democracy, the most common example besides Switzerland are Cuba and Venezuela. According to international organizations, Cuba scores very poorly on human rights and civil liberties issues; Venezuela's score is going down as the people vote away their own freedoms at referendums (I mentioned the 15th February one above). http://www.mherrera.org/freedom.htm . Would you prefer to live in one of these societies with more direct democracy than your own?
Last edited by Zorba on 2009-12-09, 19:17, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Zorba » 2009-12-09, 17:37

Rumpetroll wrote:Maybe if people were shown the kind of consequences their actions could do, then they wouldn't vote that way?
I doubt many people would still be for genocide if they see movies about families being killed just because people voted for it..


Yes, that's one of the reasons why freedom of speech is so important.

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Boself » 2009-12-09, 19:49

Boes wrote:If the majority of a certain people don't want something, they should be able to refuse it. That's called the freedom to choose.


Now now. No need for Human Rights and International Conventions than eh?

Let us just ask what the majority of the people think.

Rule of Law is so much more than simple democracy my friend...
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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Boes » 2009-12-09, 20:37

Zorba wrote:
Boes wrote:If the majority of a certain people don't want something, they should be able to refuse it. That's called the freedom to choose.


As I've explained, this conception of democracy as "majority rule" is overly-simplistic and virtually no constitution relies on it, nor do political scientists. The reason being that it doesn't account for the fact that the majority often want to take away the human rights and civil liberties of the minority. That's the point of the wolves and sheep analogy.

Again you present humanity's immorality and evil nature as a basic fact of life. It's not. Societies with a direct democracy would not devolve into savagery. Giving a few people a lot of power over a large group of people (indirect democracy) is much more likely to result (and has time and again proven to result in) such behavior.

Zorba wrote:If I am Jewish and I want to celebrate Hanukkah on Friday, but the majority of people in my country vote that they don't want any Hanukkah celebrations this year, they have the freedom to choose, but where is my freedom of choice?

You need to differentiate between what is possible and what is probable. Is it possible that such a vote could occur? Yes, it is, but personally I'd consider outcomes such as "Jews will celebrate Hunukkah in the privacy of their own homes." to be a million times more likely.


Zorba wrote:
There haven't been any modern states with true direct democracy yet; so how can you judge them?


This sounds remarkably like the mantra "there haven't been any states with genuine communism yet".

Possibly, but I somehow still find that more comforting than the 'mantra' "it's not perfect, but he".

Zorba wrote:
Fact is, most governments in the past century, in which more people died because of war than in the combined 20 that preceded it, were (former) indirect democracies.


Correlation does not imply causation. There are various reasons why the twentieth century is the bloodiest. Part of the reason for the high body count is that killing techniques grew more sophisticated and the total number of the population was higher. Many (though not all) of the warmongering and bloodiest societies were dictatorships: Kaiser's Germany; Soviet Union; Hitler's Germany (once he got democratically-elected, he dismantled the apparatus of democracy); Mao's China; Khmer Rouge etc.

Correlation doesn't imply correlation, and yet yourself made similar allegations implying direct democracy was solely respondsible... how do you explain that?

Zorba wrote:
Earlier, and virtually the only, examples would be hunter-gatherers.


So you disagree with the mainstream argument that Athens was direct democracy?

Athens was many things, ranging from a dictatorship and plutocracy to something nobody today would dare to call democracy.

In a direct democracy, there is but one true rule; all people have a vote. That wasn't the case with Athens ...

Zorba wrote:Among the countries today which have developed a tradition of direct democracy, the most common example besides Switzerland are Cuba and Venezuela. According to international organizations, Cuba scores very poorly on human rights and civil liberties issues; Venezuela's score is going down as the people vote away their own freedoms at referendums (I mentioned the 15th February one above). http://www.mherrera.org/freedom.htm . Would you prefer to live in one of these societies with more direct democracy than your own?

Let me first repeat that none of these are direct democracies. Just because a country (Venezuala) has a referendum once in a while, doesn't imply direct democracy.

Comparing those countries to indirect democracies is like comparing apples and pears. It's like trying to convince people it's a good thing to pay tax by asking if they'd rather live in Denmark (where they pay a lot of taxes) or Congo (where people don't pay taxes) ...

Boself wrote:
Boes wrote:If the majority of a certain people don't want something, they should be able to refuse it. That's called the freedom to choose.


Now now. No need for Human Rights and International Conventions than eh?
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If a majority of people find (certain aspects of) an international convention, or certain (interpretations of) 'human rights' to be undesirable; they ought to be able to change those.

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Zorba » 2009-12-09, 20:55

Boes wrote: Again you present humanity's immorality and evil nature as a basic fact of life. It's not. Societies with a direct democracy would not devolve into savagery. Giving a few people a lot of power over a large group of people (indirect democracy) is much more likely to result (and has time and again proven to result in) such behavior.


If you are using historical precedent to accuse representative democracy, where is the historical precedent to show that "humanity's immorality and evil nature is not a basic fact of life"? Which societies have managed to eliminate immorality and evil historically?

There are plently of historical examples of societies which believed that evil could entirely be eliminated if the right social conditions were in place. This is the project of the Soviet Union, and the Khmer Rouge for example. Such societies have not only not succeeded in eliminating immorality or evil, but have made things a lot worse for everyone.

The Judeo-Christian tradition, which lays one of the foundations for Western culture, has long believed in the notion of the Fall and Original Sin. The way back to the Garden of Eden is barred by an angel by a flaming sword. Our attempt to build the Tower of Babel all the way to heaven ultimately condemns us to greater division. While we cannot take the literal truth of such stories seriously, their resonance is clear: man is by nature imperfect and building the perfect society is impossible. We need to focus on how to minimize evil, not eliminate it.

You need to differentiate between what is possible and what is probable. Is it possible that such a vote could occur? Yes, it is, but personally I'd consider outcomes such as "Jews will celebrate Hunukkah in the privacy of their own homes." to be a million times more likely.


Improbable? It's already happened. Did the majority allow the Jews to celebrate Hanukkah in the Republic of Venice? In Isabella's Spain? In Nazi Germany?

Possibly, but I somehow still find that more comforting than the 'mantra' "it's not perfect, but he".


Who is "he"? I don't understand this.

If a majority of people find (certain aspects of) an international convention, or certain (interpretations of) 'human rights' to be undesirable; they ought to be able to change those.


But you've already gone much further than that, Boes. Remember, a few posts back you said that it was fine for Zimbabweans to seize the land from the minority of white farmers by force and redistribute it, providing the majority agreed.

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Babelfish » 2009-12-10, 22:01

Narbleh wrote:To clarify, it is my opinion that Sarkozy's comments are racist because I see it as another incarnation of the idea that because our culture considers it oppressive, since we are so much more enlightened, progressive, and socially advanced than Muslim countries, it's our prerogative to impose our morals and social norms on a totally different culture to their supposed benefit. One of the definitions of racism is belief in superiority of one's own race or culture. I interpret "burqas aren't welcome in France" and "burqas are oppressive to women and Islam is flawed in this way" to be racist for that reason, especially with comments like "13th century Baghdad" and "Aladdin's palace" :roll:

It's a matter of totally different cultural frames of reference.

It still has nothing to do with race and racism, not any more than homophobia or misogyny have to do with racism, yet they're still wrong IMO without being racist... There might be some term for assuming cultural (rather than racial or sexual) superiority, I just don't know it.
And frankly, not sure if that is wrong in all cases. Like Giovanni wrote, it is surely reasonable to demand of immigrants to adapt to the cultures of countries to which they immigrate. I've seen shirtless women in the streets occasionally in the US, but that would probably be unwelcome in Britain (maybe not for everyone :P ), let alone in India or Saudi Arabia, and that's quite understandable and acceptable, I guess; is the opposite so unacceptable? I doubt even how acceptable it should be in foreign countries, for people who want to consider themselves "liberal" - that women are forced to cover themselves head to toe in some countries, not to mention being murdered for suspicions of breaching their "family honor" or executed for adultery after having been raped! :x

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby KingHarvest » 2009-12-11, 8:46

I'm not going to play the "facts, books and dictionary vs. 'I live there, you don't'-game" with you alright?


You mean the books and dictionaries like the Random House Dictionary:

1. pertaining to or characteristic of a people, esp. a group (ethnic group) sharing a common and distinctive culture, religion, language, or the like.
2. referring to the origin, classification, characteristics, etc., of such groups.
3. being a member of an ethnic group, esp. of a group that is a minority within a larger society: ethnic Chinese in San Francisco.
4. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of members of such a group.
5. belonging to or deriving from the cultural, racial, religious, or linguistic traditions of a people or country: ethnic dances.


or the American Heritage Dictionary:


1a Of, relating to, or characteristic of a sizable group of people sharing a common and distinctive racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural heritage.

1b Being a member of a particular ethnic group, especially belonging to a national group by heritage or culture but residing outside its national boundaries: ethnic Hungarians living in northern Serbia.


2 Relating to a people not Christian or Jewish.

n. A member of a particular ethnic group, especially one who maintains the language or customs of the group.


or Merriam-Webster

1 : heathen
2 a : of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background <ethnic minorities> <ethnic enclaves> b : being a member of a specified ethnic group <an ethnic German> c : of, relating to, or characteristic of ethnics <ethnic neighborhoods> <ethnic foods>


or the Oxford American Dictionary and Thesaurus

adj 1a (of a social group) having a common national or cultural tradition. b (of clothes, etc.) resembling those of a non-European exotic people. 2 denoting origin by birth or descent rather than nationality (ethnic Turks). 3 relating to race or culture (ethnic group; ethnic origins) 4 archaic pagan; heathen.


So yeah, you can keep your "facts," the rest of us will live in reality.
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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby Boself » 2009-12-11, 10:16

Boes wrote:If a majority of people find (certain aspects of) an international convention, or certain (interpretations of) 'human rights' to be undesirable; they ought to be able to change those


Leaving aside the ethical dimension and purely focussing on the legal dimension, you are right.

However, you can not change an international convention by simply voting a national law that is contrary to the international convention.

Therefore the Swiss should now use the proper procedure, namely denouncing the European Convention on Human Rights, as long as they have not done this, they are in breach of their international obligations.

The ethics are equally simple: the Swiss have introduced a flagrant form of discrimination.

The whole point of rights and freedoms is that they can not be simply taken away. It's the whole idea behind the rule of law, otherwise we wouldn't need human rights, we would just need direct democracy.

John Rawl's criticism on utilitarianism in "A theory of justice" would be an interesting read.
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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby TeneReef » 2012-04-19, 4:41

It is not only Muslims who are not wanted in Switzerland, but Slavs, Hungarians, and Baltic people too:
The European Union reacted angrily Wednesday to a move by Switzerland to stem a recent wave of immigrants from central and eastern Europe, calling it discriminatory and unjustified.

The Swiss Federal Council announced that it had decided to impose quotas starting May 1 on certain categories of residence permits for citizens of eight E.U. member states: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.



http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/201 ... mmigrants/

http://en.europeonline-magazine.eu/swit ... 04635.html

What did Slovenia do to the Swiss people?
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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby JackFrost » 2012-04-19, 5:18

I guess if you're not Romance or Germanic, they don't want to see too many of them in Switzerland.

No, the Slavs have a reputation of causing more crimes than the Swiss. It's not the Slavs' (the Balkans' actually) fault if they're known to suddenly kill each other for no reason at all. A Swiss girl told me that it's in their mentality to solve issues with knives because of war scars during a slow painful break-up of Yugoslavia. Just leftover marks when they were trying to survive... You know, not to get cleansed.
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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby TeneReef » 2012-04-20, 0:30

Slovenia wasn't involved in any fights.
I will never ever go to this xenophobic and antiSlavic thing called Switzerland.
It's easy to be rich when you run money laundering facilities (aka Swiss banks).
And what about the Jewish gold, extracted from gold teeth of Jewish people killed in Nazi camps, they all ended up in Switzerland. And it is how these hillbillies got rich in the 1st place.
But no money in the world can buy you class, a hillbilly once, a hillbilly for good.

JackFrost wrote:l. A Swiss girl told me that it's in their mentality to solve issues with knives because of war scars during a slow painful break-up of Yugoslavia. Just leftover marks when they were trying to survive... You know, not to get cleansed.


A Swiss girl told me it's in their mentality no to respect agreements they (Switzerland) signed with EU, as a member of EFTA.
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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby johnH » 2012-07-06, 8:01

Oleksij wrote:Image

Yes - 57.5%
No - 42.5%


So it's the Germans and Italians?
The French hinterlandnandnpresumablt much of french speaking area voted against it according to this map
(small slice towards then west) the Germans who take up the north and are very conservative are towards the north east... And towards the south south east the Italians,
The Romansh area Today is dominated by Germans. So it looks like another victory by and for the Germans.

Actually if I'm not mistaken athenianmdemocract isn't such a wonderful example of democracy and it only worked on a small scale, if I'm not mistaken some people still managed to be politicians but no possibly legitimate mandate to be so they did not a seperation of powers and people would be prosecuted on accounts of simply being unpopular.
I definetly support direct democracy, but actually if I'm not mistaken constitutional republics (or constitutional limited monarchies) who's political mechanisms continued to function and where not enamored with unplayable debts or foreign intervention, actually have had a pretty good record Atleast compared to democracy threw plebiscites.

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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby モモンガ » 2012-09-21, 17:58

Isn't Minaret a tower attached to a Mosque? :shock:
It's like Saudi Arabia banning on building Church towers.
Anyway I support the freedom of religion.

Even in Poland we have some Mosques for Tatar minority group.

Don't have Suiss people more important things to do?
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Re: Switzerland bans construction of minarets

Postby TeneReef » 2012-09-21, 20:18

In Croatia, every large city has a mosque, and only 1% of population is Muslim.
It hasn't destroyed the Catholic-ness of Croatia.
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learning in 2019: (no-nn)


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