Sunday, 6 December 2009

Swiss Ban On Minarets - What Should Be The Muslim Reaction?

By Sikander Hayat


Swiss voters have voted last week to outlaw the building of minarets in Switzerland. 57% of the voters were in favour of this ban. All this shows is the general phobia of Islam and ignorance on part of the general public about the values of Islam. They can’t be blamed as they have been constantly bombarded by the press sometimes true and mostly untrue stories which disfigure and defame Islam.
When I look at the general trend in headlines in the European newspapers, it is hauntingly reminiscent of the time just before 2nd World War, when Jews were at the receiving end. Muslims are the new Jews of Europe, the favourite whipping boys.
My suggestion to all Muslims is that don’t get intimidated and lash out at the people e.g. National Front in France, BNP in UK or Peoples Party in Switzerland but figure out the democratic way of organizing to defend the democratic Europe in the face of hate fuelled onslaught by the above mentioned ignorant people. Lets have a voice of Islam at a European level because that is the only way to change the views of ordinary Europeans towards Islam. Let them see that Muslims are just as much human as they are and as much European as they are. Islam is not here to make peoples life miserable or (as many xenophobic & anti Muslim newspapers will have you believe) to impose Sharia on the people of Europe but to contribute to new Europe, to make EU prosper, to help Europe develop further and to participate in the democratic institutions of Europe both at national and at the trans-national level.

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