Turkey and the minaret ban (Updated 12-02-09)

Not quite related but powerful nonetheless because of the artistic beauty of the music and architectural beauty of the Swiss village set in the stunning natural beauty of the Swiss Alps, this short video reveals two expressions of human creativity that will disappear if the light of Christianity that nurtured them is extinguished.

Update: To support its position, the SVP cites a famous remark by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who once implied that the construction of mosques and minarets is part of a strategy for the Islamization of Europe. The pro-Islamic Erdogan said: “The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks and the faithful our army.”

Armen Hareyan writing on Huliq News:

Flag of Turkey

The Swiss Minaret ban has drawn many critical voices from around the world. The majority of Muslims in Switzerland are from Turkey and some from the Balkans. Turkey feels the minaret decision pain as number of Christian churches (namely Armenian and Greek) in Turkey are either closed or turned to museums.

Nearly 57 percent of the voters in Switzerland voted to ban the building of Minarets in this picturesque country opening a door for a Europe-wide debate on the issue of religious dialogue throughout the old continent and the Middle East. This was a nationwide referendum, which was supported by Switzerland’s right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP). The Swiss People’s Party is widely associated with anti-immigration campaigns.

Observers report that the Swiss Minaret vote indicates the rise and strength of far-right groups in Switzerland. However, others observe that this vote may the first indication of how the Europeans may feel about the limits that the Christians and Christian churches have to face in number of Muslim Countries. The development is indeed very worrying and calls for removing all the barriers around the world for the freedom of religious worship.

Switzerland has nearly 7.5 million population. The Muslims comprise the small 5 percent of the population with 400,000. They are the second minority next to the Roman Catholic. The country has 150 Mosques where the Muslims worship and only 4 of them have Minarets. Most of the Muslims are from Turkey.

Turkey, on the other hand is one of those countries where the opposite problem exists. While most Muslim countries and many Christians strongly criticized the Swiss Minaret vote, no one in the Muslim world or even in Europe seem to really care about the situation situation of the Christian churches and seminaries for preparation of schools in Turkey.

Read more on Turkey Feels The Pain Of Swiss Minaret Ban on Huliq News.


  1. George Michalopulos :

    Bravo to the Swiss! Maybe this is the tipping point, when the European Christians will start to fight back!

  2. John Couretas :

    Well, well, this is interesting. You wonder what the prime minister would say if the Swiss shut down Turkish theological schools and confiscated mosques and other religious institutions … Tell me again, how long has Halki been shutdown? (HT: Der Spiegel)

    12/01/2009 06:20 PM

    Turkey’s Erdogan Says Minaret Ban is Sign of Fascism

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has joined a chorus of international criticism of Switzerland’s ban on minarets, saying it refelects an increasingly racist and fascist stance in Europe. The Swiss foreign minister said the vote may pose a threat to the country’s security.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Switzerland’s vote to ban the construction of minarets was a “sign of an increasing racist and fascist stance in Europe,” Turkish television Channel 7 reported on Tuesday. Islamophobia was a “crime against humanity,” just like anti-Semitism, Erdogan said.

    Turkish President Abdullah Gül also criticized the Swiss referendum in which 57.5 percent of voters had backed an initiative brought by the conservative Swiss People’s Party and a smaller right-wing party which argued that minarets symbolize a quest for Islamic power. Gül said the vote was a “disgrace” for the people of Switzerland and showed how far Islamophobia had advanced in the Western world.

    The Turkish foreign ministry said the more than 100,000 Turkish immigrants living in Switzerland were worried about the decision which “runs counter to human values and basic freedoms.”

    Fomenting Extremism

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said in a statement that the ban was “discriminatory, deeply divisive and a thoroughly unfortunate step for Switzerland to take, and risks putting the country on a collision course with its international human rights obligations.”

    “Questions could very well be raised within the UN about holding meetings and activities in Switzerland, even if the Geneva canton belonged to those which voted against the ban,” Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said on his blog.

    Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said the ban posed a threat to Switzerland’s security. “Every attack on the co-existence of different cultures also endangers our security,” she said at a meeting of OSCE foreign ministers in Athens. She said there was a danger that the “provocation will lead to other provocations” and would foment extremism.

    In Cairo, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, the country’s top cleric, said the ban was an attack on freedom of religion and an attempt to “hurt the feelings of the Islamic community inside and outside Switzerland.”

    He called on Muslims in Switzerland to take legal action to try and reverse the ban.

    cro — with wire reports

    URL: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,664641,00.html

  3. The sad thing is that there will be all these voices from the UN and the Euro-left complaining and taking action due to the ban in Switzerland, but voiceless about the Turks and Egyptian stealing and/or destroying churches. Bulldozing a Greek or Coptic churches or destroying Armenian villages to pretend Armenians never lived in that part of western Armenian now occupied by the Turks is never seen as a provocation that will lead to other provocations or discriminatory, deeply divisive and thoroughly unfortunate.

    I wish every European country would ban the building of any mosque, not just minaret, until the churches in every Muslim country are freed. In fact, I would bargain that if there were a referendum in every other country, such a thing might just happen. Unfortunately, the leaders of these European countries are not about to allow this, as on the whole they suffer from a lack of principles and testicles in equal measure.

  4. George Michalopulos :

    Has anybody at the GOA seens this? I wonder what they’re doing with their Turkish citizenship applications?

  5. John Couretas :

    Let’s see if I understand this correctly. The country that has not officially owned up to its genocide of Armenian, Greek and Syrian Christians is now upset about a construction ban on minarets in Switzerland? More indignation:

    Turkey calls on Muslims to withdraw money from Swiss banks

    Muslims should withdraw their money from Swiss banks in protest at a recent vote in favor of banning minarets in the country, a senior Turkish minister has said.

    “I am certain this will prompt our brothers from Muslim countries who keep their money and investments in Swiss banks to review their decision,” Hurriyet daily quoted Turkish State Minister Egemen Bagis as saying.

    “The doors of the Turkish banking sector… are always open to them,” he added.

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul has called the ban “shameful.”

    Switzerland annually earns over $10 billion from business with Muslim countries. Around 170,000 people from the Gulf visit the country every year. Analysts predict the ban could cause an outflow of Arab investment from Switzerland.

    The Alpine country held a nationwide referendum on Sunday, one of the three questions being whether to allow the building of new minarets. A total of 57.5% of voters and 22 out of 26 cantons backed the proposal, put forward by the rightist Swiss People’s Party (SVP).

    Surprisingly, only 37% of Swiss voters had been reported ready to back the ban on new minarets just before the referendum, while 53% said they would vote against it.

    The government and parliament had spoken against the initiative, but were forced to accept the popular vote. Switzerland has 400,000 Muslims out of a total population of 7.7 million.

    In 2005, a publication by the Danish Jyllands-Posten paper of a series of 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked protests in Muslim nations and a boycott of Danish products, which stripped the country of $1.2 billion worth of trade with Muslim countries.

    ANKARA, December 2 (RIA Novosti)

  6. George Michalopulos :

    John, great insights! My question is: and Greek-American bishops want to (or should want to) become Turkish citizens? How does this make sense? Can anyone out there who’s smoking crack explain the logic to me? Hello?

    • George: We won’t know how many GOA bishops have actually assumed Turkish citizenship until the parishes receive their first Holy Encyclical on Ramadan Fasting, which will also include guidelines for the presvyteres and Philoptochos ladies on how to properly wear the burqa.

  7. George Michalopulos :


  8. Of course, the real way to stop the call of the Minaret would be to resume answering the Church bells when they call to worship. Until that happens, the Secular Europeans are only postponnning their demise. An empty soul cannot keep out the seven demons. Mat. 12, Luke 11.

  9. George Michalopulos :

    You’re right, Isa. All the Muzzies are doing is filling in the void that secularism has created.

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