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Re: [religion-31] Is banning minaretes a form of intolerance?

From: Eric
Sent on: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 9:17 PM
Well, the banning of the minarets was the result of a popular vote. So as a Democratic nation, the Swedish government had to defend this decision. Its not unlike what happened here in the states with gay marriage. The people themselves decided to overturn the court's decision on the issue. In the case of California however, this social sentiment that opposed gay marriage was totally un-expected.

I think both of these situations, among others, are indicative of a larger movement of religious fundamentalism that is world-wide. This movement is not only relegated to Islam. We are seeing an equivalent movement occurring among Christian religions as well and I've even seen tinges of it in alternative religions (which completely surprised me). In any case, it seems that fundamentalism breeds more fundamentalism and we are seeing this more and more.

For example, we are now engaged in a "clash of civilizations" according to our former president. This is unfortunate, because the war on terror (which originally intended to be a war against terrorists) has become a war with Islam as result. Of course, Islamic extremists believe the same thing about their situation....they are conducting jihad against the "satanic west" and fly planes into buildings because of it. Unfortunately, the real victims of this war are people who have nothing to do with fundamentalism or extremism. They are the victims of the 9-11 attacks, the families who are killed by bombing raids in the middle east, etc.....

I firmly believe that religious fundamentalism is the true problem here. In our country, the religious Right has become much more vocal over the years and has established itself during the Bush administration as a political force that drives politics in this country, despite the seperation of Church and State. Furthermore, with the recent election of a president who threatens the stability of extremism by using reason and moderation as his path, the religious Right has become much more vocal and is trying to drown out the voices of reason through dirty politics and fear mongering, which is working by the way!

I think that people who support reason, sanity, and Democracry need to become just as vocal, but not just politically, socially as well. Intolerance and fear mongering are unacceptable in a country like ours, at least in my opinion. This whole issue of intolerance is not a political issue, its a social one.

I urge people everywhere to promote tolerance and reason and reject fear.

Democracy relies on people like that.   


That's my two cents.

 Eric


-----Original Message-----
From: Gary H <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Tue, Dec 1,[masked]:51 pm
Subject: [religion-31] Is banning minaretes a form of intolerance?




 
All,

Is banning minarets a form of intolerance?
This could signal a dangerous new trend in Europe or the USA.

I find these prejudicial events troubling.
While I do not have any liking for the mono-theist literalistic religions, as a
secular humanist I have to stand with the freedom to practice one's religion --
or non religion -- so long as the practice does not oppress others or limit
their freedom.

From listening to other reports it's apparent this is not about aesthetics or
architecture. It is not motivated by the same motivations as an anti-billboard
movement because of an unsightly or distracting blight on the landscape -- which
includes tall church steeples -- some that ring loud bells. This is a move
against what may indeed be "peaceful neighbors" who probably have made no
attempt to force their religion on others, as right wing fundamentalist
Christians often do. This is not a proportional response to Islam's presence in
Europe. I don't find the argument of a "defense of secularism" very convincing,
an argument which some free thinkers may use to justify these actions.
-- Gary the Grouch

from The Globe and Mail of Canada.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/swiss-minaret-ban-emboldens-europes-extremists/article1383413/


Analysis: Doug Saunders
Swiss minaret ban emboldens Europe's extremists

A deep and troubling insecurity toward Muslims seems to be bubbling in the
continent

by Doug Saunders

London ? From Tuesday's Globe and Mail (Canada Newspaper)
Published on Monday, Nov. 30,[masked]:45PM EST
Last updated on Tuesday, Dec. 01,[masked]:15AM EST

If not for its dark, historic resonance, the Swiss decision to ban the
construction of minarets would have seemed absurd and pointless.

In a country whose steeple-pocked landscape features exactly four of the
mosque-side towers, there seemed no good reason for the far-right Swiss People's
Party, which happens to be the largest party in Switzerland, to be putting the
question of a mosque-building ban to the people. ...

MORE on line:
tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/ylnm62h











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