Loading
Swiss campaign to ban minarets gathers 115,000 signatures
Swiss campaign to ban minarets gathers 115,000 signatures

.- A Swiss proposal to ban the construction of minarets, the thin towers on mosques used to make calls to prayer, has collected 115,000 signatures in support. Under Swiss law, a group can request a binding national referendum if it collects 100,000 signatures.

The proposal campaign is led by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), the largest party in the Swiss parliament. According to BBC News, the SVP argues that the minaret is not needed for worship and is in fact a symbol of Islamic law, being therefore incompatible with the Swiss constitution.

Buildings with minarets, the SVP claims, symbolize a “political-religious claim to power, which challenges fundamental rights.” Islam, they argue, “places religion above the state and... completely contradicts the federal constitution.”

There are about 350,000 Muslims in Switzerland, many of whom reportedly have been shocked by the campaign.

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has said the government will oppose the proposal.

In a statement the Federation of Churches called the proposal “inappropriate.”

“Polarization is a bad thing. We should be working on integration,” the federation said.

By law Switzerland is a secular state with constitutional guarantees of freedom of religious expression to all.

However, Swiss mosques reportedly tend to be confined to disused warehouses and factories. In the Swiss capital of Bern the largest mosque uses a former underground parking garage.

There are two small minarets in the country, one in Zurich and one in Geneva. Neither one can be used to make the Muslim call to prayer.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: