Kalb-Baladi

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Swiss Minarets

What I love about the Swiss minarets debate is that it's so ridiculous yet very serious at the same time.

When you think of Switzerland, you would normally associate it with chocolate or watches or the most ridiculous of Swiss inventions, the Swiss army knife, but minarets? How did this happen?

Minarets were invented a very long time ago to help market Islam. The muezzin would climb up to the top and call the faithful to prayers five times a day. The idea was if you erect a high mnaret and get a muezzin with a strong tenor voice, you are guaranteed to bring in more people to the mosque.

In the 21st century you dont really need to go through all that trouble. Calls to prayer can be beamed over radio, TV, the internet and mobile phones, so the high minaret is obsolete.

What is more amusing is that the 4 existing minarets in Switzerland are not allowed to broadcast the call to prayer yet the Swiss Muslims want more of them? Why? What good is a church tower if you are not allowed to ring the bells?

I will try to put myself in a Swiss Muslim's shoes (or slippers). This is what I would probably be saying if I was one: You won't allow me to use the minaret to call for my prayers, OK but I still want one. You got a problem with that? I like my mosque with a minaret sticking out of it.

Muslims accuse the anti-muslim right wingers in Europe of racism, but the funny thing is that Muslims and right wing racists have a lot in common. They are both anti gay and anti semitic misogynists with false illusions of superiority. Their minds work in the same screwed up way.

The serious part of this debate is about how democracy is not always right and can be used to trample minorities, Democracy has been a vehicle for the ascent of some very nasty dudes, Nazis, BNP, Hamas, GIA, Muslim Brothers are only a few. What do you do about that?

Then there is the "misunderstanding" of Muslims. Lots of TV shows in the west (like The News) portray Muslims in a very negative way which in turn causes non-muslims to misunderstand them and imagine minarets as a symbol of evil Islamic occupation and see Muslims as polutants of the western civilization. Do they have a point?

The talk about architectural clash is stupid, I am sure clever Muslim architects can design something compatible with Swiss cities, but it is not about that.

There is a whiff of islamophobia in the ban and I am loving it, because moderate Muslims dont give two squirts of piss about having minarets in Geneva and tolerant Europeans dont mind Muslims building the dick shaped structures.

This is clash between the racists and the fundis. Let it rage.

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