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Switzerland Defends Ban on Mosque Minarets

Posted by Mats on 04/12/2009

Original Article

AP

GENEVA —

Switzerland says the country’s new ban on the building of minarets is not aimed at Muslims but at Islamic fundamentalism.

Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf says her country supports religious freedoms.

She says Sunday’s referendum, during which voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets, was not “a referendum against Islam … but a vote directed against fundamentalist developments.”

Widmer-Schlumpf spoke on arrival Monday at a meeting with EU justice ministers. Switzerland is not an EU member but has close and regular contacts with the EU.

LIVESHOTS: Swiss Minarets a Tolerance Test for Europe?

Swiss voters support barring construction of the iconic mosque towers in a surprise vote that put Switzerland at the forefront of a European backlash against a growing Muslim population.

Muslim groups in Switzerland and abroad condemned the vote as biased and anti-Islamic. Business groups said the decision hurt Switzerland’s international standing and could damage relations with Muslim nations and wealthy investors who bank, travel and shop there.

“The Swiss have failed to give a clear signal for diversity, freedom of religion and human rights,” said Omar Al-Rawi, integration representative of the Islamic Denomination in Austria, which said its reaction was “grief and deep disappointment.”

The referendum by the nationalist Swiss People’s Party labeled minarets as symbols of rising Muslim political power that could one day transform Switzerland into an Islamic nation. The initiative was approved 57.5 to 42.5 percent by some 2.67 million voters. Only four of the 26 cantons or states opposed the initiative, granting the double approval that makes it part of the Swiss constitution.

Muslims comprise about 6 percent of Switzerland’s 7.5 million people. Many are refugees from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and about one in 10 actively practices their religion, the government says.

The country’s four standing minarets, which won’t be affected by the ban, do not traditionally broadcast the call to prayer outside their own buildings.

The sponsors of the initiative provoked complaints of bias from local officials and human-rights group 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 noted that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has compared mosques to Islam’s military barracks and called “the minarets our bayonets.”

Anxieties about growing Muslim minorities have rippled across Europe in recent years, leading to legal changes in some countries. There have been French moves to ban the full-length body covering known as the burqa. Some German states have introduced bans on head scarves for Muslim women teaching in public schools. Mosques and minaret construction projects in Sweden, France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Germany and Slovenia have been met by protests.

But the Swiss ban in minarets, sponsored by the country’s largest political party, was one of the most extreme reactions.

“It’s a sad day for freedom of religion,” said Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a British youth organization. “A constitutional amendment that’s targeted towards one religious community is discriminatory and abhorrent.”

He said he was concerned the decision could have reverberations in other European countries.

Amnesty International said the vote violated freedom of religion and would probably be overturned by the Swiss supreme court or the European Court of Human Rights.

The seven-member Cabinet that heads the Swiss government had spoken out strongly against the initiative but the government said it accepted the vote and would impose an immediate ban on minaret construction.

It said that “Muslims in Switzerland are able to practice their religion alone or in community with others, and live according to their beliefs just as before.” It took the unusual step of issuing its press release in Arabic as well as German, French, Italian and English.

Sunday’s results stood in stark contrast to opinion polls, last taken 10 days ago, that showed 37 percent supporting the proposal. Experts said before the vote that they feared Swiss had pretended during the polling that they opposed the ban because they didn’t want to appear intolerant.

“The sponsors of the ban have achieved something everyone wanted to prevent, and that is to influence and change the relations to Muslims and their social integration in a negative way,” said Taner Hatipoglu, president of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Zurich. “Muslims indeed will not feel safe anymore.”

The People’s Party has campaigned mainly unsuccessfully in previous years against immigrants with campaign posters showing white sheep kicking a black sheep off the Swiss flag and another with brown hands grabbing eagerly for Swiss passports.

Geneva’s main mosque was vandalized Thursday when someone threw a pot of pink paint at the entrance. Earlier this month, a vehicle with a loudspeaker drove through the area imitating a muezzin’s call to prayer, and vandals damaged a mosaic when they threw cobblestones at the building.

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Muslims Bullying non-Muslims For Not Fasting

Posted by Mats on 31/05/2009

Posted in Islam, Religion, Society | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

French Media Covers Up Muslim Torture of Jew

Posted by Mats on 26/05/2009

Link

In the 1930s, far too many countries refused to acknowledge, much less stand up against, the extreme anti-Semitism coming from Germany. Today, Europe is witnessing a rerun of this hatred from the ‘30s. It is well past time those in leadership get their heads out of the sand and recognize that this has become a serious problem once again, only this time the guilty party is not Nazis, but the “religion of peace”–Islam.

Read of an example of this Islamic hatred for Jews from
Israel National News
, via Atlas Shrugs:

The Halimi Cover-Up
by Pamela Geller

Death in an Islamic ‘homemade concentration camp‘.

Warning! The following contains descriptions of extreme brutality.

The abduction and murder in Paris of a young Jewish man by a gang of Muslim immigrants calling themselves the Barbarians shocked the whole of France in 2006. But now that the accused are on trial – silence.

A French judge has ordered the latest issue of the magazine Choc (‘shock‘) removed from the shelves. The cover showed a man with duct tape completely covering his head, except for a small opening around his nostrils. His nose is bloody. His hands are also bound with duct tape.

It was a photo of Ilan Halimi, the 23-year-old Parisian Jew who was kidnapped and tortured for 24 days by the Barbarians. His captors took the picture and sent it to his family. A lawyer for Halimi’s family had complained about the magazine, but Choc’s editor-in-chief Paul Payan responded: ‘Of course, we understand the anguish of the parents and, of course, we share their anguish…. But what’s so harrowing is not the publication of this photo. What’s harrowing is what it represents, what happened, the reality behind it.’

And it gets worse. The ‘New York Times’ reported last week that ‘in the two and a half weeks since 27 people went on trial [in Paris] for the brutal 2006 kidnapping, torture and killing of a young Jewish man, little has filtered out about the proceedings.’ Worse still, the little that has emerged indicates that French government and law enforcement have done everything in their power to obscure the Islamic Jew-hatred that led these Muslims to commit this crime.

The corrupt media, aligned with the jihad forces, has long blacked out the truth about Halimi’s homemade concentration camp and the inconceivable horrors that were suffered by this French Jew, chosen by Islam’s soldiers for unimaginable torture. They covered up the religious aspects of this depraved barbarity. Law enforcement did as well.

No one said anything about the Koran’s statement that the Jews are the Muslims’ worst enemies. No one referenced Muhammad’s words: ‘The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”’ Never was there heard anything about the Islamic tradition that says: ‘When judgment day arrives, Allah will give every Muslim a Jew or Christian to kill, so that the Muslim will not enter into hell fire.’

Ilan’s uncle, Rafi Halimi, reported that ‘the gang phoned the family on several occasions and made them listen to the recitation of verses from the Koran, while Ilan’s tortured screams could be heard in the background.’

Three weeks of unimaginable torture. Three weeks. So many clues. So many guilty animals partaking in the continuing torture in their ‘homemade concentration camp.’ Twenty-three people participated in torturing Ilan. Another twenty were involved indirectly. The custodian of the building gave them the key to an apartment where they said they wanted to ‘keep someone.’ French journalist Guy Millière reported that ‘the screams must have been loud because the torture was especially atrocious: the thugs cut bits off the flesh of the young man, they cut his fingers and ears, they burned him with acid, and in the end poured flammable liquid on him and set him on fire.’

Horrible tortures. Horrible torturers. One of the torturers would go to work at a TV station every day and come back to partake in the torture. The girls who lured Halimi into the trap knew he had been kidnapped. They knew Youssef Fofana, the leader of the Barbarians, was extremely violent. They knew Ilan was still in his hands three weeks later. All they had to do was make an anonymous phone call to the police. No one would have known. They did not do it. No neighbor thought to say to the police that something strange was going on in their building.

The police told the family not to say a word. The Jewish community was not warned when prior attempts to kidnap Jewish men had failed. The Jewish community was not warned before the successful attempt.

Even the one member of the gang who dropped out because he was shocked by their violence did not call the police.

When Ilan was found, the head of the fire department who was called to the scene, a man with decades of experience, almost fainted when he saw the victim. The last thing Youssef Fofana did was slit Ilan’s throat, twice, and pour a flammable liquid on him to try to set him on fire. But this did not burn him to death, because Ilan walked for perhaps one hour, trying still to find a way to live.

It was another brutal Islamic slaughter of a defenseless Jew. To cover it up now is only to help ensure that it happens again.”

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U.K.: Thousands of Muslim men using welfare system to support multiple wives

Posted by Mats on 26/05/2009

By Robert Spencer

“… the Taxpayers’ Alliance, a lobby group, has complained: ‘Polygamy is not officially condoned here, so why should British taxpayers have to pay for extra benefits for men to have two, three or four wives?'”

For that matter, how many traditional, monogamous couples and their children in Britain are suffering because of the recession while their government hemorrhages money to reward illegal behavior?

“Polygamy UK: This special Mail investigation reveals how thousands of men are milking the benefits system to support several wives,” by Sue Reid for the Daily Mail, February 24 (thanks to all who sent this in):

He cut a smart figure in his grey suit and crisply ironed shirt. The 6ft tall Somalian bowed to the judge, calling him ‘Sir’, before begging for his wife, Fatima, and their teenage son to be allowed to stay in Britain.

Fatima, with a black khimar veil covering her hair and shoulders, sat quietly next to her husband.

In her late 30s and wearing open sandals, she lowered her dark eyes as the details of the unconventional life she and her husband, Abdi, led in the West London suburb of Shepherd’s Bush unfolded at a busy immigration court.

The judge listened in silence. Perhaps he knew from past experience what was coming next. Abdi went on to reveal that Fatima was not his only wife.

Indeed, he was a self-confessed bigamist who had a second, much younger wife and a 13-year-old daughter by her. They both lived nearby.

‘I visit them regularly,’ said Abdi, 51, who arrived in Britain in the 1990s and works in an old people’s home. ‘I have done nothing wrong. In Somalia, it is normal to have two wives – even three or four. Fatima is still my wife and she should not be deported.’

Exhibit A: The world map. Where are you now? It’s still not “normal” in Britain.

He was unable to produce wedding certificates or valid official documents to prove where, or when, he had married both women, therefore raising questions over the validity of the unions, under either Somali or British law.

Yet his story, unravelling at an ordinary weekday hearing at Taylor House, an asylum appeals’ centre in North London, is just one example of the growing phenomenon of multiple marriage in Britain.

Officially, such unions are punishable by up to seven years in prison. They were first declared illegal in England and Wales in 1604, when the Parliament of James I took action to restrain ‘evil persons’ marrying more than one wife. Parliament ruled that anyone found guilty of the crime would be sentenced to death.

In the four centuries since, bigamy (having two wives) and polygamy (more than two) has been frowned on by the state, the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.

Yet it is clear that officialdom is turning a blind eye to such marriages.

A recent review by four Government departments – the Treasury, the Work and Pensions Department, the Inland Revenue and the Home Office – has concluded that 1,000 men in the United Kingdom are now polygamists, although some say the figure is higher.

And crime pays:

What is more, the review found, a Muslim man can claim state support of more than £10,000 a year to keep his wives, if the wedding took place in one of those countries where polygamy is commonplace, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia and across huge tracts of Africa.

That’s right. The U.K. does recognize polygamous unions if the wedding was performed in a country where polygamy is legal.

For example, a man can receive &£92.80 a week in income support for wife number one, and a further £33.65p for each of his subsequent spouses.

Therefore, if he has four wives – the maximum permitted under Islamic teachings – he can claim nearly £800 a month from the British taxpayer.

Controversially, a polygamist is also entitled to more generous housing benefits and bigger council houses to reflect the large size of his family. He is also able to claim £1,000 a year in child benefit for each of his growing brood.

The Government insists that polygamy has declined in Britain since the 1988 Immigration Act, which made it harder for men to bring second, third or fourth wives to the UK.

However, it’s little wonder that critics claim our generosity simply encourages more Muslim men to keep several spouses. Supporters of polygamy claim the Koran states unequivocally that a Muslim man can marry up to four women so long as he treats them equally.

But the Taxpayers’ Alliance, a lobby group, has complained: ‘Polygamy is not officially condoned here, so why should British taxpayers have to pay for extra benefits for men to have two, three or four wives?’ …

Read it all.

Posted in Islam, Religion, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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