The sign of hate

A reflection on the Swiss minaret-ban
by Charlotte Malterre
The order-loving, money-holding, proper-looking population of Switzerland made a shocking addition to their constitution by voting to ban minarets from their alpine landscape by a bashing score of 57.4 %.

Sample Image


It is believed that this direct democracy translate what other countries more politically correct won't admit and that their level of democracy won't allow. They say loud what everybody thinks. Austrian university professors called their Swiss friends to congratulate them. German neo-Nazis parties clapped.

The extreme-right SVP carried out a hard-line campaign with posters of a woman in a black burka and minarets planted all over the Swiss flag. Not that Switzerland has to give lessons to anyone regarding women's rights, while a federal court decision had to force the last canton (Appenzel IR) in 1991 to give women the right to vote...

Developing a climate of hate against another religion is not an unfamiliar scheme in Europe and it should be a extremely strong warning. Discriminatory laws are a proper start towards other more drastic measures, enjoying people's support that believes it will constrict radical Islam.  Medias and populists politicians join efforts to steer a Muslim-hatred that might have the very opposite effect as wished. While the 400.000 Muslims of the country timidly expressed worries, scarce were the voices that rose against the result and the law. This racist vote should be of great worries to all anti-fascists and anti-racists of the world.

For once, the human rights parliament in Strasbourg, prompt to condemn 'evil' countries such as ex-Yugoslavia or African countries should look in his backyard and sanction Switzerland: call for an embargo.

Charlotte Malterre, Zurich