MINELRES: UNITED: Voting Against Minarets Means Voting Against Tolerance

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue Dec 8 07:49:21 2009


Original sender: UNITED <notreply@unitedagainstracism.org>


UNITED E-NEWS 2/12/2009

VOTING AGAINST MINARETS MEANS VOTING AGAINST TOLERANCE

UNITED for Intercultural Action wants to express its concerns and deep
regret on the decision of the Swiss referendum voters to ban the
construction of new minarets in Switzerland. 57% had casted the vote for
this choice promoted by the right wing extremist Swiss People's Party
(SVP).

The way in which this right-wing populist campaign has been conducted
was based on unfair prejudice against the Swiss Muslim community, which
ultimately it is an attack on social cohesion in Switzerland. The
manipulating campaign around this shameful vote utilised fears and
patriotism of the Swiss people to mobilise voters: on the campaign
poster a black veiled Muslim woman stands in front of the red an white
Swiss flag, which is perforated by a forest of minarets that look like
missiles.

The same political party gained 29% of the votes in the last federal
elections 2007. In that time they also used a racist poster showing
three white sheep kicking out a black one against the background of the
Swiss flag, labeled with the slogan: 'For more Security'.  
That was an attempt to appeal to the lowest fears and emotions of the
people as they recently did again in the referendum campaign against
minarets.

There is no evidence of a radical Islam in Switzerland, however this
discriminating vote could create a problem where there was not one
before. Hatred and Extremism cannot be fought with hatred and
intolerance. Besides complicated issues such as immigration, diversity
and religious cohesion cannot be explained by simple answers as racist
populism is doing in Switzerland and other European countries.

European democratic civil society, engaged in the fight against
intolerance, must not be quite in front of such attack against our
common values of tolerance, diversity, freedom of religion and respect
for human dignity. Therefore, UNITED for Intercultural Action calls to
challenge the ban of minarets in Switzerland by legal and democratic
means.

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