Tags: Swiss | minaret | Muslim | ban outrage

Swiss Minaret Ban Prompts Muslim Outrage

Sunday, 29 Nov 2009 09:26 PM

Religious leaders across the world have criticised Switzerland's referendum vote to ban the building of minarets.

The Vatican joined Muslim figureheads from Indonesia and Egypt, as well as Switzerland, in denouncing the vote as a blow to religious freedom.

France's FM Bernard Kouchner expressed shock at the ban which, he said, showed "intolerance" and should be reversed.

More than 57.5% of voters and 22 out of 26 cantons - or provinces - voted in favour of the ban on Sunday.

The proposal had been put forward by the Swiss People's Party, (SVP), the largest party in parliament, which said minarets were a sign of Islamisation.

'Expression of intolerance'

The Vatican on Monday endorsed a statement by the conference of Swiss Bishops criticising the vote for heightening "the problems of cohabitation between religions and cultures".

Egypt's Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa described the ban as an insult to the feelings of the Muslim community in Switzerland and elsewhere.

Sunday's surprise result also prompted dismay from secular leaders in Europe.

"I am a bit shocked by this decision," Mr Kouchner told France's RTL radio on Monday. "It is an expression of intolerance and I detest intolerance.

"I hope the Swiss will reverse this decision quickly."

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Religious leaders across the world have criticised Switzerland's referendum vote to ban the building of minarets.
Swiss,minaret,Muslim,ban outrage
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2009-26-29
Sunday, 29 Nov 2009 09:26 PM
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