I have mixed feelings about 57% of Swiss voters banning the construction of minarets. My first reaction was to be appalled. As my good readers know well, freedom of religion is important to me.
But how much is this about freedom of religion? One can still be Muslim in Switzerland, just as I am Anglican in America. But my freedom of religion does not mean I have the right to build a 300 foot spire with loud speakers that periodically proclaim “Eat cake or die!”
And as pointed out here (in an albeit over the top manner), mosques and minarets are not just Muslim church buildings.
A mosque is NOT a Muslim "church." It is a Muslim "church" and a Muslim "community center" and a Muslim "armory" and a Muslim "army recruiting center" and a Muslim everything.
And that comes complete with a loud and obnoxious call to prayer multiple times a day. Yes, more obnoxious than “Eat cake or die!” Minarets, especially when placed in areas with many non-Muslims, are nothing if not a form of religious bullying.
And, as Cranmer boldly points out , Switzerland is still a democracy not under the thumb of Gulag EU. So if the Swiss look at the rest of Europe and its foolishness and say, “No, we will not be bullied by Muslims,” and put limits on Muslim freedom of religion that do not violate human rights, then that is their right to do so.
So on second thought, I do not blame the Swiss. It would be nice to have absolute freedom of religion. But as long as people use religion to bully, abuse, or even kill the innocent, then even that freedom which I cherish and defend must have its limits.
I still understand why many disagree with how the Swiss have limited that freedom. But I wonder how many of those critics are non-Muslims who have lived close to a minaret.