Chesler Chronicles

The West Begins to Fight Back

Updated Information

Here’s a round-up of today’s European response to the Swiss vote against building minarets. Thanks to Esther who covers Islam in Europe =”

Italy

Italian minister Roberto Calderoli of Lega Nord praised the Swiss decision and said: “In the popular referendum the Swiss balanced respect for freedom of religion with the need to stop the politics and propaganda linked to Islam.”
Riccardo De Corato of the PdL party says that the minaret ban should be a lesson for Italy’s Left.

Netherlands

Geert Wilders congratulated Switzerland and said: “What is possible in Switzerland should be possible here too.”

Belgium

Filip Dewinter of the Belgian Vlaams Belang said: The Swiss are a symbol for the resistance of many Europeans against foreign domination. “Common sense has again gained on politically correct thinking. Despite decades of multicultural indoctrination the tenability of the Swiss hasn’t been broken yet (..) Islam indeed doesn’t belong in Europe. In contrast to the political authorities which embrace Islam and collaborate with it, a majority of Europeans wants to call a sound stop to the advancing Islam.”

He will propose a bill in the Flemish parliament to stop the building of mosques and minarets in Flanders.

Germany

The head of the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD) Kenan Kolat told Berlin daily Berliner Zeitung that the decision was “very regrettable,” adding that basic rights such as religious freedom should not be allowed to come to popular vote.

But Wolfgang Bosbach, a conservative Christian Democrat heading the parliamentary committee on interior policy, said that the vote should be taken seriously. He told daily Hamburger Abendblatt on Monday that the vote reflects a widely held fear of Islam within German society – though he said German laws provided enough solutions for practical decisions about minaret construction.

Denmark

Pia Kjærsgaard of the Danish People’s Party proposed in parliament to bring up the issue as a popular referendum. Karsten Lauritzen of the Liberal Party rejects the idea.

Sweden

Sweden has criticised the outcome of a Swiss referendum approving the ban of minarets in the country. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt called the vote an evidence of prejudices among the Swiss population.

The Original Article

It’s a quiet New York Sunday and I’m sipping my coffee, reading my email, the newspapers, the online media, and looking out my window at newly bare branches in a weak winter sun. Suddenly—small miracles begin to appear.

According to the BBC, more than 57% of Swiss voters in 29 cantons supported a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets. Partial results from the final canton indicated 68% of people there supported the ban.

Look: I happen to like minarets but I also understand that today they unfortunately symbolize radical Islam which is a bad thing for women and other living beings.

Western as well as Muslim and other immigrant women who wish to assimilate have the most to lose if radical Islam takes over. Thus, early on, women led the Swiss in a poll about whether or not minarets should be banned. Only 31% of men compared to 39% of women voted for the ban. Some say this was due to a vigorous feminist campaign about women’s rights. Socialist politicians viewed the feminists as unacceptably anti-immigrant. Women viewed the minarets as unacceptably anti-woman. Julia Werner, a local housewife said:

“If we give them a minaret, they’ll have us all wearing burqas. Before you know it, we’ll have sharia law and women being stoned to death in our streets. We won’t be Swiss any more.”

And, Julia Onken, a Swiss feminist leader, warned that failure to ban minarets would be “a signal of the state’s acceptance of the oppression of women.” She sent out 4,000 emails attacking Muslims who condone forced marriage, honour killings and beating women.”

More good news:

Britain’s most prominent Muslim businessman, who was trapped inside a burning hotel in the Mumbai terror attacks, is calling on the government to toughen measures against extremist preachers. Sir Gulam Noon, one of Labour’s most generous donors, says the door is being left open for foreign imams to radicalise thousands of young Muslims in mosques.

Finally, miracle of miracles, Thomas L. Friedman, in today’s New York Times, writing about the Fort Hood jihadist (“America vs the Narrative”) concludes thusly:

“Whenever something like Fort Hood happens you say, ‘This is not Islam.’ I believe that. But you keep telling us what Islam isn’t. You need to tell us what it is and show us how its positive interpretations are being promoted in your schools and mosques. If this is not Islam, then why is it that a million Muslims will pour into the streets to protest Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, but not one will take to the streets to protest Muslim suicide bombers who blow up other Muslims, real people, created in the image of God? You need to explain that to us — and to yourselves.”

Is the old magic not working anymore? Are people no longer as easily fooled by false allegations of “Islamophobic racism”? Do we understand that it is dangerous to tolerate the intolerant?

Ah, but when will someone at the White House understand that although the Bush administration made many mistakes (it did not try the Guantanamo inmates a lot sooner and in a military court)– the Obama administration decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others as if they are American citizens, is an even bigger mistake?

My thanks to “Esther” who covers Islam in Europe. Please read her for a more complex interpretation of this vote which she sees not as in favor of liberal or feminist values but rather as a vote for “ethnic identity.”

AN UPDATE
Amnesty International said that the vote would probably be overturned by the Swiss supreme court or the European Court of Human Rights.