The Swiss have stones!
Direct democracy, how sweet it is!
H/T Henrik Clausen
By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS (al-AP) – 29 minutes ago
GENEVA — Swiss voters approved a move to ban the construction of minarets in a Sunday vote on a right-wing initiative that labeled the mosque towers as symbols of militant Islam, projections by a widely respected polling institute showed.
The projections based on partial returns say Swiss swung from only 37 percent supporting the proposal a week ago to 59 percent in the actual voting.
Claude Longchamp, leader of the widely respected gfs.bern polling institute, said the projection contracted by state-owned DRS television forecasts approval of the initiative by more than half the country’s 26 cantons, meaning it will become a constitutional amendment.
The nationalist Swiss People’s Party describes minarets, the distinctive spires used in most countries for calls to prayer, as symbols of rising Muslim political and religious power that could eventually turn Switzerland into an Islamic nation.
Muslims make up about 6 percent of Switzerland’s 7.5 million people. Many Swiss Muslims are refugees from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Fewer than 13 percent practice their religion, the government says, and Swiss mosques do not broadcast the call to prayer outside their buildings.
“Forced marriages and other things like cemeteries separating the pure and impure — we don’t have that in Switzerland, and we do not want to introduce it” said Ulrich Schlueer, co-president of the Initiative Committee to ban minarets.