Monday, November 30, 2009

Neutrality fail

Gotta say, not helpful.

The sponsors of the initiative provoked complaints of bias from local officials and human-rights groups with campaign posters that showed minarets rising like missiles from the Swiss flag next to a fully veiled woman. Backers said the growing Muslim population was straining the country “because Muslims don’t just practice religion.’’

“The minaret is a sign of political power and demand, comparable with whole-body covering by the burqa, tolerance of forced marriage, and genital mutilation of girls,’’ the sponsors said.

They said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey compared mosques to Islam’s military barracks and called “the minarets our bayonets.’’ Erdogan made the comment in citing an Islamic poem many years before he became prime minister.

First of all, a law that this explicitly targets one religion, well...? How do you not call that religious discrimination.

The security rationale boils down to, "We heard this guy in Turkey say something once that sounded sort of threatening."

And laws like this make it difficult to tell the Muslim world that the West isn't making war on them en masse. The fact that this law seems to have shown up on the streets before it was written into the books doesn't help either.

The Swiss People's Party, which embraces fringe right policies well beyond immigrant policy, seems to have political power in the country out of proportion to their membership. American progressives disgusted by the Big Two often envy Europe, where parties are smaller and people give a damn about them. Both systems appear to be flawed.


susan said...

Forget the swine flu but watch out for the epidemic of craziness sweeping the world. Geez.

btw - Hope your appt was okay and yes, your email address is gone (probably canceled due to lack of looking at it :-))

Ben said...

I just did check it. First time in quite a while, I'll admit. I might change venues, though. Excite mail has had some dubious improvements, as in, maybe better for someone, but not the user. Plus ads are popping up. Spare me.

susan said...

You might want to try a G-Mail account since it's free but probably has more spam filtering ability. I used Yahoo for a while but there was too much junk mail so I opted to pay $30 a year or so for They're really good.

Sorry about the dental work. I made it to denturville for my top teeth last year but at least I have a few posts for stability. Let us know if you need anything.