To the editor:
I would like to respond to the article by Ali Moossavi (Minaret ban indicates evolving fascism, 24 December). Mr. Moossavi has completely failed to understand the reasons for the Swiss vote in favor of a ban on the construction of minarets.
A protestor carries a sign in Switzerland.
The Swiss were also provoked by a recent call by Muammar Gaddafi for Switzerland to be broken up because the Geneva police had had the temerity to arrest his son for beating a servant, followed by the unjustified arrest of two Swiss businessmen in Libya in retaliation.
Most of all, however, the Swiss have been provoked by the failure of Europe’s Muslims to play by the rules, to enter into debate about the merits and demerits of Islam, but instead take to the streets, banners screaming for the overthrow of democracy and freedom at every insult to Islam, real or perceived.
The other reason for the success of the vote was that it does not infringe on the right of Muslims to practice their religion. It was merely symbolic. Muslims are completely free to build mosques and worship in them as they please without any interference. It is no hardship not to have a minaret. To put this into perspective it should be compared with the plight of the Christians in Iraq and Egypt who face daily violence, with priests being murdered, churches burnt and worshippers harassed.
No, Mr. Moossavi, this was not racism or fascism, it was a protest vote and a wake up call to Europe’s Muslims to lower the tone.
Roy W. Brown