Last Sunday Switzerland shockingly approved a national ban on the building of minarets (these are the towers on mosques where they do the call to prayer). This is like having a national ban on church bell towers. It is amazing that such a thing could happen in Europe. What good does this promote? Will not having minarets lesson religious fanaticism? Hardly. And this comes from a nation whose constitution supposedly guarantees freedom of religion.
This is not a step toward peace. If you’ve read my blog you know I don’t subscribe to a kind of religious plurality where I believe everyone is right. But I do believe in a religious plurality where everyone is free. Free to worship as they like. Free to worship where they like. Free to build places of worship. Free to change their religion. Free to tell others why they believe what they believe.
Banning the building of minarets will only make Muslims in Switzerland feel more like they are outsiders. It will encourage them to disengage with their non-Muslim neighbors. It will encourage non-Muslims to continue to fear Muslims and refuse to get to know them. It will give Muslim fanatics more fuel for their fire (The west is anti-religious and is out to destroy Muslims). It will give non-Muslim fanatics more fuel for their fire (Muslims are scary terrorist and we must stop them).
You don’t need to be able to read the poster below to know that it does not promote understanding, love or peace. It promotes fear and peace does not prosper in fear.