Conversation About Minarets In Switzerland


by Eskandar8Here

My Brother: There are only 4 minarets in Switzerland. Ban on ritual animal killing was on the table, but rejected. Didn't want to offend Judaism. But a racist Europe would be a racist Eruope. //


Me: The price of living in someone else's country is usually an imperfect citizenship or worse, and if you were Swiss, would you want minarets in your town anyway? Why does Islamic aesthetics have to be so hard? Have you seen the mosques that have been built in Europe? They look like public toilets, only with arches. Couldn't European Muslims at least have created some desirable architecture?


My Brother: Yes. But I agree with you regarding minarets. While the explicit rules about halal and haram meat (kosher/non-kosher) are intrinsically part of Islamic rituals, there is no requirement for a minaret. Minarets were a way of calling Muslims to prayer at a time when an architectural solution was the most convenient way of keeping everyone's schedule in synch. Effectively, they solved the same problem as Big Ben solved for old London. Switzerland can argue that nowadays there are more convenient ways of keeping track of time, namely the devices that Switzerland is famous for.


Me: Minarets could still be incorporated into the design of mosques in Switzerland and elsewhere and be architecturally functional and aesthetically timeless at the same time. Incorporating minarets into a modern design would be paying homage to Islamic tradition and making them functional would be easy to do. My point was that if Muslims are going to be building mosques in Europe, why not build mosques that rival the great cathedrals of Europe, if not in size, at least in beauty and in spirit. Have a look at the gorgeous Bourges in France, //

I believe Europeans are seeing the Muslim presence in Europe in the same way Americans view their housing projects and their viewpoints are not so mute.

And lets face it, outside of a few centers on earth there are not too many examples of Islamic aesthetics that inspire. Reasonable expressions of Islamic aesthetics can be found in Iran, Turkey, and Spain, and this is because in each of these instances there was a significant pre-Islamic civilization that allowed for a fusion to occur. Islam's contribution to humankind was limited to the soundness of it's political and social order, at a time when other systems had fallen behind in providing for social equity. What about in 2009?


My Brother: Quite agree!Beauty is its own argument. I wish you would blog this important insight on


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

No automatic right to minarets

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Folks, the Swiss don't want their nation turned Islamic alright? The minaret ban has nothing to do with architecture and everything to do with a message. That is: Swiss don't want Islamic culture in their nation. If you want to go there, don't try to change their landscape to look like turkey!  Remember: when in Rome do as the Romans do. The argument that they should be more "civilized" i.e. let Islamists do as they want doesn't wash. 

It used to work in Netherlands until the Islamists killed Van Goh; Fortuyn; and threatened others. Remember actions results in responses. You cannot just expect people to sit there and take it. They won't.

In fact I am surprised that Eurpoe has not reacted much more forcefully. If Muslims go on as they have; there will be more reaction. This is time for Muslims to act like good citizens; drop the demands; drop the threats and in time they will be accepted.

Shahre Hurt

More Minarets!

by Shahre Hurt on

OK Eskandar, I first thought you are one of those islamists that try to ease their agenda into the open by playing both sides. If you are claiming that you are argueing the issue from a mere aesthetic and architectural vantage, you are entitled to your opinion. I stand corrected. Cheers....


Shahre Hurt

by Eskandar8Here on

There are no complaints on my part other than if we are to build mosques please lets build ones that inspire by virtue of their architecture and I also make an observation that it seems to me Islam by itself has not been as instrumental in the advancement of art and therefore science.

It seems to me claims to the contrary are falsely credited to Islam, but they rightfully belong to pre-Islamic civilizations. I give credit to Islam for it's contributions to political and social order at a time when it was a radically new idea in the world in addressing social equity.     

Oh, I am also agreeing with the Swiss in rejecting more minarets. What does any of this have to with "condoning honor killings", "rule of law", etc.? Ha?? 

Shahre Hurt


by Shahre Hurt on

To the person that keeps on talking to his "brother":

If you had any understanding of how democracy works, you would stop complaining about what happened in Switzerland. The people have simply spoken. If you are so much concerned about other people's rights, then I recommend you go back to where you came from and try to work on human rights there. I have a feeling you would rather live in the west and take atvantage of all it's freedoms while going to mosques and covering your hair and growing your beard and occasionally condoning honour killings in the name of Allah! While blaming everyone and everything for all the crap that is going on in the muslim world! No? Gotcha?

I am flabbergasted by the fact that you and your kind have the nerve to even comment on rule of law. And I am equally dissapointed when this medium gives someone like you the platform to question the most honoured process of the civilized world. But I guess this is democracy too!

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

Well reasoned! In democracies we don't suppress our own citizens to retaliate against repressive laws in some other country.


Should we compare ourselves with Iran and Saudis?

by Gordzad on

First, let me state that I am not religious and would rather not be reminded about any religion in my daily life. Therefore, if I was a Swiss, I would probably vote NO to mineratss. On the top of that, if somebody asked whether to close down all the churches there, I would have voted YES.

You may or may not like to have minerats in your backyard. However, do not make your opinion based on what some reactionary regimens are doing within their borders. They stand for everything you don't, so why follow their examples of suppressing people? We are in a much higher league of civilization compared to Iranian and Saudi rulers and should not be compared the them. 


How many Churches and

by vildemose on

How many Churches and steeples are allowed to be built in Iran or Saudi Arabia, etc??? At least in Switzerland and the US, the muslims can proselytize their religion and converts are not arrested or killed.

. In Iran and other muslim states prosetylizing and coversion to other religion are  punishable by death...



The muslims in Europe

by Cost-of-Progress on

should pack up and GTFO.

What are they doing with the infidels anyway...? ____________________




Let's face it

by MRX1 on

who want's a Minaret in their neighborhood any way, be it in Iran, US, swiss or just about any where! Beside the fact that it is an ugly architecture, the idea of it being used five times a day by loud speakers to call for a prayer in a language which most don't people underestand any way is a bit too much for every body.....