Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Swiss Referendum ......

In a post from last November [Swiss Vote to Ban Minarets.] I reported on a November 29 referendum in Switzerland concerning a Constitutional ban on new construction of minarets in that country. The ban won with 57.5 percent of the votes.
Almost immediately afterward, Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying that the ban "... violates the rights of observant Muslims to manifest their religion in public and reflects mounting anti-Muslim sentiment in Western Europe..." :

"A ban on minarets denies Muslims the right to manifest their religion and is discriminatory. The right to manifest one's religion in public, through worship, teaching, practice, and observance, is an integral part of the right to religious freedom, guaranteed by international human rights treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the European Convention on Human Rights, both of which Switzerland has ratified. Both treaties also prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion."

Certainly, there can be not logical reason to have a constitutional ban on minarets. While a minaret is no more necessary for Islamic worship than a church steeple is a requirement for Christians, the Swiss don't seem to see this for what it is ..... religious discrimination.

Now, in a referendum scheduled for Sunday, March 7 (2010) the Swiss will vote to decide on whether or not states should appoint special attorneys to represent animals in court.

In this topsy-turvy, Alice in Wonderland world that we live in, I would not be surprised if the Swiss vote yes on their upcoming referendum. The idea that a group of people would deny certain rights to their fellow man, while giving civil rights to animals, does not appear to be as far-fetched as it once might have been.

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