Everyone in the press, and I mean everyone, has their panties in a bunch after the Swiss voted over the weekend to ban the construction of additional minarets in most cantons (provinces) of Switzerland.
Swiss officials are falling all over themselves trying to apologize for this “intolerant” expression of grass-roots democracy. And the world press is unanimous in its condemnation.
But, as always, there’s another under-reported side to the story.
First, this was grass-roots democracy in action. The ban was the result of a referendum of Swiss voters, not an action by the Swiss Parliament. Switzerland has a representative form of government similar to that in many Western nations. However, the Swiss constitution provides for something seen in few countries anywhere: direct democracy. Under the Swiss constitution the voters can, by referendum, pass laws or overturn laws if they find their elected officials are not representing the will of the people. The Swiss also can amend their constitution through a similar process. This makes Switzerland a direct democracy as opposed to the United States, which is a republic.
The best the US can do is throw out the current batch of arrogant pricks and elect a new batch of arrogant pricks.
In other words, the voters did an end run on the Swiss politicians saying, in effect, “You are not representing our interests. Political correctness aside, we don’t want to increase Muslim presence in Switzerland.” The referendum was sponsored by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP). The press calls SVP “right-wing,” a term that has become Newspeak for “Knuckle Dragging Troglodytes.”
Second, the press under-reported the impetus for this successful grass-roots referendum: feminists. Yes, Swiss women, an independent free-thinking lot, voted overwhelmingly to ban the expansion of Muslim presence in Switzerland. Apparently they had heard nasty rumors to the effect that Muslims were chauvinists, that their treatment of women was often uncharitable and sometimes downright cruel. How awful rumors like this get started is beyond me, but that’s what drove the Swiss women to the polls in large numbers.
Third, the press was universal in condemning this infringement of religious rights by the largely agnostic Swiss. A sampling of the headlines:
Religious leaders across the world have criticised Switzerland’s referendum vote to ban the building of minarets
Europe unites to deplore Swiss ban on minarets
Vatican and Muslims condemn Swiss minaret ban vote
Papers express dismay at Switzerland’s ban on minarets
Here’s the really great part: Not one, not one, of the world’s leading news organizations bothered to mention that Saudi Arabia (as well as some other countries) bans the building of churches and all forms of open Christian worship. This fact, which adds a little ‘balance’ to the action taken by the Swiss, was NOT reported by any of the following major news organizations (yes, I checked every one of them):
British Broadcasting Corporation
Voice of America
United Press International
New York Times
Christian Science Monitor
According to The Times of London the ban on minaret construction isn’t likely to stand for long, as it will probably be overturned by the Swiss Supreme Court or the European Court of Human Rights.
Here we go again. The fucking judges get the last vote. Were courts instituted to save us from ourselves? Are we (all of us, in democracies around the world) so inept that we need courts to keep us from stepping on our own foreskins?
And isn’t Switzerland a sovereign nation? Who the fuck is the “European Court of Human Rights” to tell the Swiss how to manage their affairs?
This article is getting long but I feel compelled to make a couple of personal comments:
First, minarets are ugly pieces of phallic architecture best suited for the sexually repressed cultures of the Middle East. They don’t look bad in Mecca but in Detroit, Paris, or Berne they look like shit.
Second, minarets are built in order to call the faithful to prayer. Prior to the electronic age, I suppose the job went to the guy with the biggest set of lungs. Now, most minarets are equipped with loudspeakers. How’d you like one of those things in your neighborhood braying out a call to prayer five times a day in an alien tongue. I sure as hell hope if they build a minaret near my house the cops have the balls to issue a citation for disturbing the peace.
In fact, that’s where we go next gang. When they start hollering from the minarets, we file suit for disturbing the peace and attempting to impose religion on us against our will. If you can’t put the Ten Commandments on the courthouse lawn (by the way, another dumb idea), then you can’t broadcast Allahu akhbar all over the neighborhood either.
This might also lead to the quieting of church bells. I could sleep undisturbed on Sundays.