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Jewish Groups Object to Switzerland’s Minaret Ban

Posted on Dec 3, 2009
Not My Switzerland
AP / Keystone, Peter Klaunzer

The words “This is not my Switzerland” appear on a banner next to burning candles and a model of a minaret on the Bundesplatz square in front of the government building in Bern. The display protests Swiss voters’ acceptance on Nov. 29 of a national initiative to ban construction of minarets.

Recognizing that this week’s popular vote to forbid the building of minarets in Switzerland represented a blatant show of religious intolerance it couldn’t ignore, an association of Jewish organizations is expressing its strong disagreement with the ban and calling on Swiss leaders to defend religious freedom.  —KA

The Jerusalem Post:

Rabbi Pinchas Dunner, executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis, an Orthodox organization, said “a war on religious freedom cannot defeat Islamic extremists. The best weapon against radical Islam is support for moderate elements in the Muslim community and promoting interfaith dialogue.”

In contrast, the Anti-Defamation League tied the move to religious discrimination against Jews.

“This is not the first time a Swiss popular vote has been used to promote religious intolerance,” said the ADL in a press release. “A century ago, a Swiss referendum banned Jewish ritual slaughter, in an attempt to drive out its Jewish population.”

Noting that the “Swiss government opposed the initiative during the campaign and underscored its commitment to religious freedom in a statement after the vote,” the ADL urged Swiss leaders to “be vigilant” in their “defense of religious freedom, even though the SVP is the largest party in the Swiss Parliament and has two of the seven government ministries.”

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, December 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Bigotry Wins in Switzerland

By voting to ban the construction of minarets, Switzerland apes the most extreme intolerance in the Muslim world

By Juan Cole

December 01, 2009 “Salon”

“Here is a Western Christian description of the situation of Christians in Syria:

  In Syria, as in all other Arab countries of the Middle East except Saudi Arabia, freedom of religion is guaranteed in law . . . We should like to point out too that in Syria and in several other countries of the region, Christian churches benefit from free water and electricity supplies, are exempt from several types of tax and can seek building permission for new churches (in Syria, land for these buildings are granted by the State) or repair existing ones.

  It should be noted too that there are Christian members of Parliament and of government in Syria and other countries, sometimes in a fixed number (as in Lebanon and Jordan.)

  Finally, we note that a new personal statute was promulgated on 18 June 2006 for the various Christian Churches found in Syria, which purposely and verbatim repeats most of the rules of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches promulgated by Pope John Paul II.”

Click on link for the of article:

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By Sodium, December 9, 2009 at 4:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: double standard anyone!!!!!,December 8 at 3:16am

double standard anyone,

You really have just hung yourself by your balls.

(1) You have based your obvious bigotry on what the biased MSM like Time wanted you and others like you to believe. Experiences have taught me never never and more never(s) to take what the MSM say for a grain of salt;and yet your ignorance has called that “research?”.

(2) Daniel Pipes has been well known in the academic community,and to anyone who has the correct knowledge about the culture and history of the Middle East,as one of the most haters of Muslims and Arabs. No wonder that you are just repeating his bigotry like a parrot. You need not take my word. Just check the following(Non-main stream media)website to find out the extent of rejections expressed towards Daniel Pipes and his destructive and endless bigotry:

Daniel Pipes is not the only one who hates Islam Muslims and Arabs with passion. There are others like him. I can name them for you if you like. I have a thick file on them and their entire history of bigotry as I have on Daniel Pipes. It seems to me that bigots bigot bigots.

(3) More importantly is the fact that my eariel post of December 7 at 3:40 am,was based on GENUINE EYEWITNESSES. Yours above Re is based on what you read what is questionable intent of a publication of one of the most bias in the industry and of course on what an eternal hater of Islam,Muslims and Arabs publishes on his own website and you call it “reseach?”. Reseaech my ass!!

Grow up,double standard anyone!!!!! and try to see the light instead of just seeing the ugly head of bigotry.

For your information,I am not a Muslim but spent more than twenty years in the Middle East and North Africa,managing a complex technical business operations on behalf of an American multi-nationals corporation. I know the area,its people,its culture and its history very very well. I was born to and raised by parents who were devotees to the Greek Orthodox Church. You figure!!

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By ardee, December 9, 2009 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

maybe they will allow minarets in Zurich when Saudi Arabia allows a SINGLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN IT’S LAND!! now THERE is your DOUBLE STANDARD OF ISLAM!!

doublestandard indeed!

A sad comment that negates the fact that there are catholic churches and Jewish Synagogues in other Islamic nations, some in existence for hundreds of years in fact.

That this poster posits that discrimination in one nation is fine because there is such in another is not rational.

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By double standard anyone!!!!!, December 7, 2009 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

wow, sodium..check this out.,8599,1723715,00.html

how about some “blinding” sunlight of basic two second INTERNET research before calling me a bigot!

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By ardee, December 7, 2009 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Sodium for being so eloquent in defense of something I hold very dear indeed.

Johannes, perhaps you have been as indoctrinated as claimed by Sodium, to the point where you do not even realise the hatred in your own words.

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By Sodium, December 6, 2009 at 11:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I post once in a while when time and family obligations allow. I follow certain rules that I try to adhere to before I type my posts. Among those rules are two rules I consider very important:

Rule One: Refrain from posting in response to bigots and their bigotry,since years of experiences have taught me that nothing constructive and positive will result from such an adventure. it is a waste of time.

Rule Two: Never deviate from the topic at hand because deviation may create the excuse or rather the optimum environments for the propagandists to use the forum as a propaganda tool for his/her cause and agenda. Moreover,some
posters likes to parade their phony knowledge,instead of tackling an issue and helping others who may need help.

Because the INTENSITY of the bigotry,I have detected on this thread,is so profound and SHINNING Like the hot ray of the sun in the middle of the Summer in an Arabian desert I had happened to endure so often in the 1970s and 1980s,I am going to violate my own rule,(Rule One),to call the attention of both Johannes
and double standard anyone,that the INTENSItY of their bigotry is beyond comprehension and absolutely no excuse is acceptable for such a horrible posture.

I must tell you what I think of you first: Based on reading your posts,I believe that you have been indoctrinated for years to hate Jews,Muslims and Arabs and you look at them as subhuman. But I must remind you and remind your ilks that without the contribution of Jews,Muslims and Arabs,when you were living in the DARK AGES,you would not have enjoyed the life you are enjoying now in the West,in the 21ST century. Read your history correctly.

As to the claim that Saudi Arabia does not allow churches to be built there,I will allow some body else to prove that the fact on the ground is completely opposite to your bigoted claim and I quote from another website forum:

John Holloway Says:
November 30th,2009 at2:57 am.

I am an American who lived in Saudi Arabia for 21 years now. I have seen many comments which say that there are no churches in Saudi Arabia. This is not true. There are churches in the cities of Udhailiyah,Abqaiq,Ras Tanura and Dhahran.
Now,Saudi does not represent every Muslim country as there is huge ammounts of churches with the bell towers in Lebanon,Tunisia,qatar,Iraq,Qatar,Indonesia,Kazakhstan…
Finally,why don’t u put Switzerland with Lebanon rather Saudi when it comes to religious freedom??


I wish to add to what Mr.Holloway has witnessed as first hand what I had witnessed as first hand also in Jordan and Syria:

The number of churches(Catholic,Greek Orthodox,Protestant of all variety and Armenian) were in abundance,in almost every major neighborhood of the largest Jordanian cities like Amman,Irbid Sult,Karak Faihais,Husn,and Aqaba. Similarly,I personally saw churches sites in the largest Syrian cities such as Damascus,Alepo,Hums,Hamah and Intakiah.

In fact,most of the population in the Jordanian towns of Faihais and Husn are Christians and most of the residents in a large neighborhood in Damascus called Bab Toma are Christians. I even saw a Synagogue in the old section of Damascus,Syria. I inquired about the Synagogue and I was told that there was a small number of Syrian Jews who refused to migrate to Israel and their rights are protected just like any other Syrian citizen. I wanted to meet some of them
but somehow I was not successful in my attempts.
Furthermore,the Coptic Christians in Egypt alone
make approximately 8-10 millions of the total

As an objective observer like Mr.John Holloway and myself can testify that there are plenty of churches in the Arab countries,including Saudi Arabia and only the bigots dare to deny the fact presented by eye witnesses like Mr.Holloway and myself. How about taming or rather leashing your obvious bigotry a bet.And I will then and only then I would say and mean it:“thank you”.

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By ardee, December 6, 2009 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

Well for me this is the end, we are hurt by the unfeeling of people coming in to our society, and treating this society as something with out hart and values.

You plead with ITW that you are not a bigot, yet you continue to post proof that you are indeed exactly that. Your assumption, above, that those who worship in a different fashion that do you are perforce “unfeeling” is really you being unfeeling. You apparently are lacking an essential ingredient, compassion, as well as any attempt at understanding.

Hatred comes in many forms, you are simply demonstrating one such.

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By johannes, December 6, 2009 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

Inherit the wind, realy you understand nothing you take every word and feeling out of his contex, so you can use it in your out of balans writings.

You can not put an label on me, as that I am Anti Semiet, but if you are a Jew, you are one who putting something very stupid on your race and that is hate.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

“bloody Jews” , “bloody Jews” but you claim not to be anti-semitic.  You post scurilous lies about Jews that are easiliy dismissed.

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By johannes, December 5, 2009 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

To Ardee,

You can and will not understand my feeling, I cannot come in any society whats running as an horloge, and start to put lots of sand in it, in an society what is growen in time to something with great values, you cannot come in an start build your docterines about thinking, and special dogmatic thinking, without the smallest suplesse, I cannot op Samedie soir come in to your house an take the place of the messiash on your table, well thats the feeling people have about newly comming Moslims, and it hurts if than Jews who must know bether to misrule countrys, with old pro semietic thinking.

Well for me this is the end, we are hurt by the unfeeling of people coming in to our society, and treating this society as something with out hart and values.


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By ardee, December 5, 2009 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

johannes, December 5 at 12:04 pm

I am sorry Johannes, but your assumptions that ,if one is a Jew or a Muslim, you are only a guest rather than a resident is pretty damning. So Jews and Muslims have no rights in Switzerland? And your presumption that all Jews and Muslims band together for suspicious or nefarious reasons, instead of seeking their own company as folks like you make them feel unwelcome among you casts you in a poor light as well.

Having been born and lived exclusively in America my opinions are formed in part at least by my experiences here. While I have traveled extensively I see here much prejudice as well, but we are a dispersed people in many cases and only while newly arrived do immigrants tend to band together.

I think you need a bit of introspection but I do not intend to prolong this argument. I have said my piece and you yours, that will have to suffice.

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By johannes, December 5, 2009 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

To Ardee,

I am sorry if I come over as an Anti semiet, I am from Amsterdam and we grow up to gether, of course their where the Orthodox and the Portugees Jews, the poor Jews lived with the poor people, and the rich with the rich, The Portugees Jews had their synagoge, the orthodox an other and the poor Jews had small synagoges every where, we spook Dutch but with a lot of jidis and plat Dutch, so this wash Amsterdam, their wash no place for anti Jewiesness,
but the Jews themself where not much mixing, and to marrie an Jewes girl, say orthodox or portugees out of the question, I had one great grandmother who wash Jewes see came from Russia and wend with an Dutch kaptein my famelie and his ship to Holland where they married, and my father told me that if they had words, he criet to her you bloody Jewes woman, but they had 8 children and an long live to gether.

I think that as you are in myn age and you come from Amsterdam, its not possible to by anti semiet, but we take the freedom of give our thouts and some times we are unfriendly, the problem is we do not see them as something or somebody differend, it are our brothers and sisters, thats wy we do not like it that they use our little girl from Amsterdam, Anne Frank, yes see wash from Amsterdam, one of us.
I hope you can feel what I want to say, its all so sentimental, so full of nostalgie and longings, but wy have the bloody Jews , our bloody Jews, to do things as in Israel.

Most are gone, and this empty places will never been fillt up again, thats our trauma in Amsterdam, thats why lots of my age are living now outside Amsterdam and even Holland.

The living to gether in Holland is old, it wash an enormes amalgame from people but it had on the end an enorme finnese, an joyeu de vivre, well I can go on a long time, but I stop now.

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By ardee, December 5, 2009 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

johannes, December 4 at 12:36 pm

I am puzzled as to why you insist on committing suicide with each subsequent bigoted and non-factual postings?

Jews do not , and have not, lived in enclaves such as you intimate since persecutions of them ceased. Your irrational and obviously anti Semitic views of them speak volumes about you and not one accurate thing about them.

I am a Jew whose two daughters married outside of the religion, tens of thousands of such marriages occur everywhere yet you cling to seventeenth century bullshit.

I am so very sorry to see you expose yourself as I formerly read your posts with interest. You are revealed and you should be very embarrassed to display such incredible ignorance.

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By johannes, December 5, 2009 at 1:57 am Link to this comment

To Inherit the wind,

You are speaking as a dog trainer, if some body has not the same way of thinking as you, you start to speak out of your corner of your mouth, and to say no so nice things about the other person, I can tell you this is not the good way.

If you have seen a Moskee in Kaapstad, great deal, in the Netherlands wy have over 500 of this kind of building.

Any body who whants to live in our living together has to live inside our rules, and not other wise, don’t disfigure their young girls, don’t kill and slaughter sheep in their badroom to name a pair.

But to cut it short, wy whant to live our lives on and with in our rules, and thats how it will by.

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By double standard anyone!!!, December 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

uhm….I do seem to recall that this was a free and democratic vote in a country that could teach us ALL a few things about representational democracy. The Swiss motto is the people decide and the government implements! Live with it people! Switzerland isn’t limiting religious freedom in ANY WAY! maybe they will allow minarets in Zurich when Saudi Arabia allows a SINGLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN IT’S LAND!! now THERE is your DOUBLE STANDARD OF ISLAM!!

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By Inherit The Wind, December 4, 2009 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

Johannes is a bigoted idiot who cites classic stereotypes rather than facts.

I am deeply disappointed in the Swiss.  I recently visited Capetown and was surprised at the number of mosques here and how the restaurants are proud to label food as halal. But it’s not a recent influx. We passed one mosque that had a sign stating it was established in 1834.

So, in the land infamous for “Apartheid”, tolerance of Muslims going back almost 200 years shames the Swiss for their stupid,intolerant vote.

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By johannes, December 4, 2009 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

To Ardee,

I have no hate for any normal living creature inclusief our problamatic race of humans.

But you can not as gasts in a country going to say to the people who give you the possibility to live in freedom and prosperity wath they have to do, and that you want that and that.

And the theses that you are born their or the second generation, dous not make you a citizen of a country, without love for its culture and history, only living in your small circel, of same religion and same language makes you an resident, but not one
with that country.

I have lived mijself in diverend countrys and are still living in a country where I am not bean born, and I know that this country never will by myn.

But maby I generalice to much in this situation, their has to by other and differend feeling ones, but on the whole the feeling of us in Europe and not only by the fanatics is, that they don’t come to live but to conquer.

And Jews is an whole other story much older, they have always build an small Israel in all other countrys where they live and have lived, they don’t leth their Jewes girls marry with not Jewes boys, I think thats very onsympatic not to say insulting, if it wash the other way round it would by .........

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By ardee, December 4, 2009 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

It is sad when one loses the respect one once had for a poster. Johannes, you should be very ashamed of yourself.

You note the Swiss are home, thus stating that any Swiss Jews or Muslims can never really be considered to be home anywhere but the nation of their origin, or their parents, or their grandparents…Silly , very, very silly…and hateful.

How are muslims responsible for a ban on minarets? How are you not responsible for your prejudice?

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By Norman Birnbaum, December 4, 2009 at 4:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Johannes is not a completely convincing advocate:  the bad behaviour of a group in one place does not legitimate discrimination against it elsewhere, unless our idea of civilization is a race to the bottom. The fact that he reads Truthdig is an interesting contradiction with his proclamation of total autonomy—-what does he care about the external world, if he is so sure of Swissness, as he defines it but not as defined by many of his fellow Swiss—-where should the no voters in the referendum go?

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By johannes, December 4, 2009 at 4:03 am Link to this comment

And all to gether now against the intolerans from this Christian Swiss, who do they think they are, they think they are the boss in their own homes and country, o no its the intolerant Jewes and Moslims, look where they live they are respectless, they dominate, its they and again they, well I say go home, and don’t make people misserable with your dogmatic obsession, its you who creatisch new wars about religions, with your intolerance.

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