December 1, 2009
Putting the Swiss ban on minarets in context
I’ve seen a lot of discussion about the Swiss vote Sunday to ban the building of minarets, the towers above mosques from which the call to prayer goes out.
The New York Times led its story with “In a vote that displayed a widespread anxiety about Islam and undermined the country’s reputation for religious tolerance.”
And Muslims throughout the world have been aghast.
I don’t doubt that the vote reflected underlying xenophobia. But Dan Murphy, of the Christian Science Monitor, puts the vote in perspective and asks how Muslim countries treat churches.
Obviously, it depends on the Muslim country. Saudi Arabia aside, the record still isn’t good:
Murphy also discusses Egypt, Saudia Arabia and Pakistan. Read it here.