I love the Swiss. I think it’s absolutely brilliant that they banned the Islamic Mosque Minarets. If not ‘ethically appropriate’, it is certainly at least a statement about their dedication to religious freedom and tolerance; an issue too quickly misunderstood.
Already Switzerland is facing criticism and condemnation; such a strong backlash that the Supreme Court may overturn the decision. If that happens, the future of Switzerland as a politically forward, independent, intellectual, enlightened country dedicated to progress, tolerance and freedom will be jeopardized.
It’s a Catch-22 that when a fundamentalist, dogmatic religion is introduced into a religiously tolerant, free country, that religion will spread until it takes over completely. Its embers will burn slowly at first, feeling its way around, establishing itself in the root system until it has a significant hold on the country. When a country (like Switzerland) realizes that it has allowed the fire to spread unchecked, and tries to douse it with water, the fire will leap up, rage, protest, and fight with unexpected power.
Islam, as it is practiced in most forms and in most countries, continues to stress Faith over Reason; Submission to holy authorities, subordination and abuse of women, and active (sometimes violent) missionary tactics. Of course there are many good ideas in Islam, and in the Koran. Of course many find in Islam comfort and meaning in life. However, it is a Truth that Islam “is not just a religion”. It comes with certain ideologies, and a pattern of self-replication. Islam grows, it recruits, it expands, it converts.
6% of Switzerland is now Muslim, what will happen when it reaches 50%? Will Switzerland, like the USA, begin having arguments about whether to teach evolution in school (or allow women to go to school?) Will Switzerland make political ties with other Islamic countries, negating it’s neutral status?
I see the same process happening in Taiwan with Christianity. In the last 5 years, hundreds of new churches have popped up; Christians have begun having big public ceremonies and gatherings – the English songs and white linen robes look a little ridiculous here. In another 5 years, Taiwan could well be another South Korea, which is nearly 50% conservative, fundamentalist Christian.
Religious Tolerance is not a virtue!
A virtue is a country finding the best ideals that work for the majority of its people to safeguard their freedom and happiness, and continue supporting the countries values. Switzerland has, for a long time, been a beacon of tolerance and neutrality; should it take no action when – as a result of this tolerance – its core social structure is being changed?