Thursday, October 29, 2009

Swiss Weigh Ban on Minarets

Muslims in Switzerland have found an interesting ally as Swiss voters weigh a ban on minarets, the towers of mosques from which the call to prayer is sounded. In many European countries, there has been a population explosion of Muslims, whose birth rate is far higher than Europeans. High crime in which Muslim immigrants figure prominently is another concern. There has been a movement to ban the construction of minarets, which some feel is an effort to mark the skyline with a towering Islamic presence.

In Switzerland, it has been the Jewish community that has joined a campaign to oppose the ban. World News Australia reports as follows on the proposed ban.

Switzerland's biggest Jewish groups have described a far-right push to ban the construction of minarets as a "threat" to religious harmony and the integration of Muslims.

"The referendum infringes religious freedom, a concept enshrined in the constitution," the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities and the Platform of Liberal Jews in Switzerland said in a statement on Wednesday.

It "also poses a threat to peaceful relations between the religions and inhibits the integration endeavours of Muslims in Switzerland", they added.

Swiss voters are to decide during a referendum on November 29 whether to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland, a proposal launched by right-wing groups and backed by the country's biggest political party, the hard-right Swiss People's Party (SVP).

The two Jewish groups said they "take seriously the fears of the population that extremist ideas could be disseminated in Switzerland"

The Jews of Switzerland are among a wide range of opponents of the ban, which is supported by the Swiss People's Party, (SVP) the largest political party in Switzerland.

There is real reason for concern in Europe of Muslim immigrants disrupting the European way of life. But it seems that attacks on minarets and the Islamic garb worn by Muslim women are laughably cosmetic ways to deal with the problem.

In Britain and other countries in Europe, it is legal to go back to a Muslim country, marry an additional wife and to return to Europe. The Brussels Journal reports as follows on this problem.

"Another thing which many people have known, but which has never been said aloud, is the spread of polygamy across Western Europe. Since yesterday, when French officials, including one government minister, cited polygamy as a possible factor of social breakdown in the suburbs, the media are suddenly devoting attention to a phenomenon which many people have known existed for years: Muslim immigrants going home for a holiday and returning with an additional wife.

Only last week (November 11) the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported statements from Norway’s Directorate of Immigration (UDI) that there are an increasing number of men with multiple wives in Norway. “The reason is married men travel to countries where polygamy is legal and then add a wife.” Though polygamy is illegal in Norway, “this is something that Norwegian authorities cannot prevent,” said UDI spokesman Karl Erik Sjøholt. The question is whether the authorities should encourage it. The Islamic Cultural Center Norway (ICCN), an immigrant organisation subsidised by the Norwegian state, advises Muslims in Norway to take several wives because polygamy “is advantageous and ought to be practiced where conditions lend themselves to such practice.”

Muslim immigrants have also brought synagogue burnings and attacks on Jews, as well as a wave of attacks on European women who are often viewed as fair game by Muslims who look down on the freedom they enjoy. Then there is the attacks on free speech, from the violent protests against the Danish Mohammed cartoons to the murder of Theo Van Gogh for producing the film, "Submission".

There are fairly simple solutions to contain Islamic extremism and to respect the civil rights of law abiding Muslims. I suggest the following.

1) Enforce a ban on polygamy. Deport anyone who comes to Europe witha an additional wife.

2) Punish honour killings like any other murder. Crack down on crime in general with harsh sentences.

3) Secure Europe's borders. The income disparity between Europe and Africa is too tempting.

4) Make it clear that European values are to be respected by prospective immigrants.

5) Europe's birth rate is well below replacement level. If you care about your country, have more children.

Harassing people who simply want to work, raise their families and worship in peace is disgraceful. But so too is refusing to protect your country. People who immigrate with an attitude of hatred and contempt for the host country should be sent home. No nation should be required to commit suicide. It's that simple.

The poster at the top of this article is a Swiss poster supporting a minaret ban. The video is of Muslim demonstrators insulting returning British troops.

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