December 4, 2009 2:10 am at 2:10 am #590906
Last week, the Swiss approved (by 57%) a ban on any building of minarets. The so-called sophisticated world has strongly criticized the swiss people for this action. Most surprisingly, the European Conference of Rabbis (an orthodox organization) criticized the Swiss vote too. Well, what do the ‘coffee room’ participants think? Personally, I fully approve of the Swiss vote. In saudia Arabia, you cannot build any other religious building and you cannot even worship any other religion.Tdoay, Muslims , in many countries, oppress people of other religions. I think it is appropriate for any European country to defend itself.Otherwise, they will soon be swallowed up by the Moslem hordes.December 4, 2009 2:45 am at 2:45 am #669900mybatMember
Sorry for my ignorance, but what are minarets?December 4, 2009 3:32 am at 3:32 am #669901
I completely and totally oppose the Swiss vote. Saudi Arabia is not any kind of model for any enlightened community to follow. To the contrary we should be strong supporters of the rights of other minority religions in the diaspora because we are all potential victims of the majority. And this is clearly true in Switzerland, which banned shechita decades ago, and in which there is already a serious proposal to ban Jewish and Muslim cemetaries. We should listen to the European Conference of Rabbis; they know the situation in Europe far better than we do.December 4, 2009 6:54 am at 6:54 am #669903ronrsrMember
I oppose the Swiss vote, too. If they’re successful at banning minarets, pretty soon they’ll be banning kippahs and synagogues and mikvehs and whatever. This is the history of such laws, like it or not. Just because you have no dog in this fight in the moment, doesn’t mean that it will be the same next year.
About a decade ago, a large (LDS – Church of JC of Latter Day Saints = Mormons) regional temple, modeled after the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City was to be built in our little town here near Boston. The opposition was immense and came from many sectors.
But who sided with the LDS church? Many Jewish organizations, who realized that if the anti-Mormon legislation were successful, anti-Jewish legislation couldn’t be far behind.
One of the great things about living in America, and perhaps in Switzerland until recently, is that we have true religious freedom. That is rare in the world today, and historically it is extremely rare. It must be defended wholeheartedly, no matter whose religious freedom it is.December 4, 2009 8:58 am at 8:58 am #669904ronrsrMember
minarets are the tall, slender towers on Moslem mosques, from which the muzzin calls people to public prayers.December 4, 2009 2:03 pm at 2:03 pm #669905theOneMember
i totaly agree to the Swiss vote- im swiss my self and we here vote all against it. its not that they may not build houses where they can “pray” to Allah, but they may not build the towers. the situation in europe is getting worse and worse. espacially here, u see more and more arabs, indis etc… i can imagine that if they would allow minarets, in 20 years Switzerland would be full of them.
regards from SwizterlandDecember 4, 2009 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm #669906Just-a-guyMember
I disapprove of the swiss vote. Jews must support policies of religious tolerance, as they protect us during galus. Today maybe its minartes or headscarves, perhaps tomorrow kippot and mikveh’s. Maybe muslims are unpopular now, but the tide can turn. theOne, substitute Jew in your sentence about Switzerland being full of them and you’ll see what I’m talking about.December 4, 2009 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm #669907tzippiMember
The Islamization of Europe is definitely enough to give one pause, but doing the tit for tat thing, a western version of dhimmitude, will just backfire, badly. So I can’t support this.December 4, 2009 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #669908
to some of the posters (just-a-guy,ronsr and others); In europe, there already ARE many so-called anti-jewish laws. In france, you are NOT allowed to wear a kippah in school, in switzerland, there are laws against shechita of large animals ( I think that it exempts chickens and the like), in england, there is a case presently in court that may FORCE jewish schools to accept ANY child, even it he/she is not jewish. so, this particular slippery slope is already here. Yet, jews continue to live as well as they can.
The fact is that the ban on minarets has NOTHING to do with any ban on religion. Muslims (and other minorities) can continue to practice their religion in peace. It is the “in your face” aspect fo the minarets that the swiss people opposed. And, for good reason, because the minarets have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with politics. the turkish prime minister recently said ” our minarets arwe our bayonets”.Buiilding these minarets is a sign of superiority and this is what thr swiss oppose.
I bet that the posters who are against this vote are also against the X-sses that dot various parts of the US and that the ACLU- in their zeal- is opposing. if you are against these X-sses you MUST be against the minarets. Otherwise- you have fallen prey to the same double standard and have shown your fear of militant Islam.December 8, 2009 6:22 am at 6:22 am #669909bombmaniacParticipant
ronrsr: LOL we backed up the mormons because they dress like us…lolDecember 8, 2009 8:43 pm at 8:43 pm #669910
Your comparison between crosses and minarets is totally erroneous. I support the right of Christian churches to have crosses on their own property. I see no reason why they need to put crosses on public property. (That goes for us and menorahs, too.) In this case, the minarets are not on public property. While every civilized society maintains the right to impose some limits what people do on their own property (zoning is an example) we must oppose those limits if they are based on a religious test, if for no other reason than we will likely be the next targets of such discriminatory rules.December 8, 2009 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #669911
The Jewish schools in Spain and Ireland accept non-Jews.December 8, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #669912
charliehall- as far as your comment about schools in spain and ireland- if this the way you want a jewish educational system to work, you are at odds with just about everyone.
as far as crosses and minarets- i fail to see how what i said is not relevant. in germany and france, they have banned students from wearing crosses in class. the Europena high court tried the sem in italy and the italians todl them o go jump in lake como.
my point was that there are already many limitations by governements on religious symbols and places. Clearly in many occasions ,this has been to the detriment of Jews (like shechita in switzerland). nonetheless, this is a fact and jews live with it. Hence, I am not worried that a ban on minarets will bring more bans on jewish customs and buildings. if – g-d forbid- it does, then jews should vote with their feet.
I do repeat that this hasn othing to do with freedom of relgion- the muslims in switzerand continue to be muslims and have many active places of worship. it is a reaction to the “in your face’ attitude of moslems in that country and ther genuine fear that their country is becoming “islamicized”. if you see what has been happening all over europe, this is well founded fear.December 9, 2009 5:32 am at 5:32 am #669913
You clearly were not paying attention. Two days after the minaret vote, the leader of the mainstream conservative party in Switzerland — not the nutty far right People’s Party — proposed banning Jewish and Muslim cemetaries because they were segregated.
And I don’t think Christians should be prohibited from wearing crosses. When I teach medical students I wear a black velvet yarmulke and I am glad that I live in a country that lets me do that.
And Europe is not being Islamicized. No country in Central or Western Europe has more than a 9% Muslim population according to both the Pew Foundation and the CIA World Factbook. When I was in Spain I never found a single Muslim building, or a single Muslim. I did see a beautiful mosque in Ireland but the only Muslim I found was an Jordanian professor who was attending the same conference I was attending.
Regarding Jewish schools accepting non-Jews, that was necessary to continue to receive government funds because the schools are too small to operate with the small number of Jewish students. If you take government funds, you accept government rules — and there would be no Jewish school without those government funds. In Ireland, that would mean Jewish students would have to attend schools run by Christian churches as essentially all schools in that country are run by churches. The community determined that it was better to have a school run by Jews even if non-Jews attended. (And while I was there I met a Christian Irishman who proudly he told me that he went out of his way to send his kids to the Jewish school because he thought Jews would give his children a better education!) I don’t know much about the situation in Spain.December 9, 2009 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #669914
charliehall- i ‘googled’ the reported remark by a leader of a swiss party. It was part of a Tv interview. What you didn’t say is that next day, he totally retraced and apologized for this remark.
As far as ‘xenophobia” I also learned that Switzerland is not the only country taht bans shechita but also those ‘democratic and liberal” countries like Sweden, Norway and FInland and also all the Baltic countries.
My point is that countreis do what they htunk is best for them. And. yes, at times, Jews are the target.This is why we desperately needed Eretz Yisroel, where we were our own bosses.
There is a rampant secularization in europe and it is coming to the US. (see the controverises about veterans’ monuments who have stood for many decades)In mnay ways, secularization is more dangerous for us than Xnity because it undermines the basis of all faiths.
as far as ‘islamization”- just wait and see.
EDITEDDecember 9, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm #669915
I have never defended the Nordic countries’ bans on shechita. I would point out that all but Sweden have official state religions (and Sweden did until just a few years ago, and most of Switzerland does to this day). Secularization?December 10, 2009 1:51 am at 1:51 am #669916JoseMember
Since when does having a State religion mean that there is not secularization. I think you do not have to look too far to see that there are even those who call themselves religious Jews who are totally secularized, and promote secularization, religiously. VD”LDecember 10, 2009 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #669917
charliehall- i don’t know you nor do I know where you are residing but, to comment on your skeptiocism of the ‘islamization’ of europe- I suggest you read a column by Isi Leibler (on the Jpost website) entitled” europe has forsaken israel, where he quotes TWO books written by NON-Jews on this matter. It might give you some different ideas.December 15, 2009 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #669918altermirrerParticipant
1 can some up that the ban on minarets is an effort to stop noise pollution something which other religions don’t cause.this has nothing to do with schooling or ritual slaughter.[ which is legal &practiced in Switzerland.[on poultry]the fact that there are 400,000 muslims in Switzerland [about5%combined with a lot of other foreigners is the main reason for the vote.]the total jewish population in Switzerland is twenty something not to be viewed as a threat of any kind .the condemnation by jewish in Switzerland is basic minority ediquette.December 15, 2009 5:17 pm at 5:17 pm #669919
Anti-Semitism in Europe was a problem before Islam even exited. Europe has done a terrible job at integrating immigrants into its societies even though the numbers are small relative to the US. (3 out of every 8 residents of New York City were born outside the US and the immigrants are making huge contributions to our society as immigrants have for hundreds of years.) Europe’s problem isn’t Islam, it is xenophobia, racism, and good old fashioned anti-Semitism.
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