Vote represents blow to Switzerland's political establishment.Well, how very dare they! Who do these people think they are?
Switzerland became the first country in Europe today to vote to curb the religious practices of Muslims when a referendum banning the construction of minarets on mosques was backed by a solid majority.And the Guardian is obviously worried it won’t be the last, with the most heartrending ‘won’t someone think of the
The result looks likely to cause strife where there was relative peace, sully the country's image abroad, damage investment and trade with the Muslim world, and set back efforts to integrate a population of some 400,000 Muslims, most of whom are European Muslims – and non-mosque-goers – from the Balkans.Oh, noes!
The campaign to ban minarets was described by the country's justice minister as a "proxy war" for drumming up conflict between ethnic Swiss and Muslim immigrants. But the ban was supported by a majority of 57.5%, 20 percentage points more than predicted in opinion polls in the run-up to the vote.Heh…!
But the Guardian is worried that this nasty ‘democracy’ thing could catch on:
While surprising, the verdict raised the question of whether such curbs on Muslims would be replicated across Europe were voters given their say.Whew! We’re safe, comrades! Only Switzerland still has that quaint democracy thingie…
If Switzerland is the only country in Europe to embark on such a ban, that may be because its system of plebiscitary democracy compels single-issue referendums if petitions amass enough signatures.
The result also represented an act of mass defiance of the national establishment. The government, mainstream political parties, the churches, the main newspapers, the national president, the powerful business lobby, and the Vatican all opposed the ban, but it was backed by 22 of the country's 26 cantons on a national turnout of more than 53%.And there you have the way the average Guardian writer views the public in a nutshell: defiant of their betters, and determined to be contrary...
And don’t start looking for your usual allies to decry this ghastly state of affairs. They are too busy cheering it on:
The prohibition also found substantial support on the left and among secularists worried about the status of women in Islamic cultures. Prominent feminists attacked minarets as male power symbols, deplored the oppression of Muslim women, and urged a vote for the ban.There’s a strong wind a-blowing from the Alps…