I understand Swiss. Would you like to hear the mosque/minarets bells ringing at least 6 times per day?
Besides, are Muslims tolerant towards non-muslims? I do not think so.
Here is more:
GENEVA -- The United Nations called Switzerland's ban on new minarets "clearly discriminatory" and deeply divisive, and the Swiss foreign minister acknowledged Tuesday the government was very concerned about how the vote would affect the country's image.
U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said Sunday's referendum to outlaw the construction of minarets in Switzerland was the product of "anti-foreigner scare-mongering."
The criticism from Pillay, whose office is based in the Swiss city of Geneva, comes after an outcry from Muslim countries, Switzerland's European neighbors and human rights watchdogs since 57.5 percent of the Swiss population ratified the ban.
The Swiss government opposed the initiative but has sought to defend it as an action not against Islam or Muslims, but one aimed at improving integration and fighting extremism.
I'm sure Pope Benedict has privately approved of the Swss's actions.
“The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers. You cannot be secular and a Muslim at the same time. The world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are waiting for the Turkish people to rise up. We will rise up.”
--Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan
"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face-forever." – George Orwell, 1984
Does Saoudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Pakistan or Afghanistan allow the building of churches with church towers and ringing the church bells on sunday? Only the Muslim countries which have had christians for more then thousand years allow Christian churches, like Palestine, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. And these countries have secular regimes!
In Saoudi Arabia the heartland of Islam the practice of Christian, Jewish or Hindu faith is prohibited, and there may not be other places of worship, than Sunni Islamic (Wahabist) Mosques. Even the Shia Islamic minority is opressed there, because it is not the right version of Islam.
P.S.- In the Netherlands we have Mosques with minarets. I think they should not allow more mosques to be built or Mosques without minarets, who exist in the Netherlands and other European countries.
Muslims should have places of worship in Europe, because we have freedom of expression, faith, opinion and orientation. But in the same time Europe is the continent of Christianity and humanism (based on the Greek, Roman and Renaissance cultures and the philosophical enlightenment of the eighteenth century).
We have a separation of church and state, which is not common in Islamic countries, in which the Islam influences or dominates culture, science, politics and the society in general. That's Ok in a country with an Islamic heritage, culture and faith tradition. But in Europe we want to keep our secular system of government, society and culture. It means that the politics are non-religious, but that in private politicians can be Protestant or Catholic christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindu's or non-believers. Ofcourse you have the Christian-democratic parties which are based on the Gospel and biblical theology, but they respect the secular constitution which garanthees equality and liberty for all. You have also Christian (fundamentalist) parties (in the Nehterlands and elsewhere) who would like that the bible rules, and that for instance the Nehterlands would be a Calvinist state guided by the Gospel, and ruled by christian rules and values. Or some Catholics in Poland, who would like Poland to be a Priest state. But these are marginal elements, because the majority accepts the Democratic constitution, the secular political system and the European cultural way of life, which accepts the presence and culture of religious and ethnic minorities and gives them their rights.
In Europe we have Muslim countries like Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. And Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria (with it's ethnic Turks) and Russia have Muslims to. Western-Europe has large Muslim (migrant) communities too, but they are not deeply rooted and established, like the native Muslims of South-Eastern Europe.
Although Turkey isn't part of the EU, half of Turkey lays on the European continent, so maybe 37,408,000 Turks of the estimated 74,816,000 Turks (2009) are living on the European part of Turkey, nex to the estimated 6 to 8 million Turks living in the EU. According to the German Central Institute Islam Archive, the total number of Muslims in Europe in 2007 was about 53 million, including 16 million in the European Union.
Turks in Europe
Turks in Europe (often called Euro-Turks) have a long history beginning in the Ottoman Empire when the Turks began to migrate to the Ottoman territories in Europe which created Turkish communities in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece (in Dodecanese and Western Thrace), Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia and Romania.
The post-World War II migration of Turks to Europe began with ‘guest workers’ who arrived under the terms of a Labour Export Agreement with Germany in October 1961, followed by a similar agreement with the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria in 1964; France in 1965 and Sweden in 1967. As one Turkish observer noted, ‘it has now been over 40 years and a Turk who went to Europe at the age of 25 has nearly reached the age of 70. His children have reached the age of 45 and their children have reached the age of 20’.
Despite the United Kingdom not being part of the Labour Export Agreement, it is still a major hub for Turkish emigrants, and with a population of half a million Turks (an estimated 100,000 Turkish nationals and 130,000 nationals of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus currently live in the UK. These figures, however, do not include the much larger numbers of Turkish speakers who have been born or have obtained British nationality), it is home to Europe's third largest Turkish community. High immigration has resulted in the Turkish language being the seventh most commonly spoken language in the United Kingdom.
Due to the high rate of Turks in Europe, the Turkish language is also now home to one of the largest group of pupils after German-speakers, and the largest non-European language (Turkish originated in Asia Minor) spoken in the European Union. Turkish in Germany is often used not only by members of its own community but also by people with a non-Turkish background. Especially in urban areas, it functions as a peer group vernacular for children and adolescents
During the rule of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923), Turkish settlers began to move into the Ottoman territories in Europe as part of the Turkish expansion, because these Turkish communities migrated to these countries during the Ottoman rule, they are not considered part of the modern Turkish diaspora. However, these populations, which have different nationalities, still share the same ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious origins as today's Turkish nationals.
Modern migration of Turks to Europe began with the bilateral agreements signed between Germany and Turkey in 1961. This lead to other industrial countries in Europe (namely Austria, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) attracting Turkish workers.
Demographics of Turks in European counries
Austria (300,000), Azerbaijan (90,000-110,000), Belarus (154), Belgium (200,000), Bosnia and Herzegovina (50,000), Bulgaria (800,000), Croatia (300), Northern Cyprus (260,000 Turkish Cypriots), Czech Republic (1,700), Denmark (70,000), Estonia (24), Finland (7,000), France (500,000), Georgia (2,300), Germany (2,812,000-4,000,000), Greece (150,000), Hungary (1,700), Iceland (68), Ireland (2,000), Italy (16,255), Kazakhstan (90,000- 110,000), Kosovo (25,000-30,000), Latvia (38), Liechtenstein (894), Lithuania (35), Luxembourg (450), Republic of Macedonia (80,000-200,000), Malta (53), Moldova (1,000), the Netherlands (380,000), Norway (15,500),Poland (2,500), Portugal (250), Romania (55,000), Russia (100,000), Serbia (20,000), Slovakia (150), Slovenia (259), Spain (2,500), Sweden (70,000), Switzerland (100,000), Ukraine (10,000), United Kingdom (500,000).
Total 6,719,990 - 8,072,990
As of 2009, the estimated population of Turkey is 74,816,000 with some 80% of the population being ethnic Turks. However, European Turkey is located only in East Thrace and comprises the three provinces of Edirne, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ, along with the European parts of İstanbul and Çanakkale. The total ethnic Turkish population in European Turkey is unknown as figures include all ethnic groups.
Source: Wikepedia, and my personal experiance with Turks and other Muslims in the Netherlands and Europe (Germany - Berlin: Turkish Kreuzberg and Arab Neuköln, Belgium: Liège (Dutch: Luik) - French speaking Maroccans and Algerians, Brussels (the same as Liège) and Antwerp (Maroccans), France (Paris - Maroccans, Algerians, Tunesians, Arabs, Turks and Black African Muslims-, Montpellier -North-Africans- and Lyon) and ofcourse Great Britain (London and Oxford, with significant Muslim minorities). In the Netherlands mainly my experiance is linked with people of Turkish, Kurd, Maroccan, Iranian (Persian, Farsi), Iraqi, Afghan or black African descent. I don't know much about the Dutch older Surinames and Indonesian muslim communities (the first Muslims in Holland). Most Surinamese and Indonesian Dutch have a Protestant or Catholic heritage by the way. And a lot of Iranians are secular or even anti-Islamic in my country. And there are secular Turks and Maroccans too, who never go to a Mosque or practice their Muslim faith. Some of them are integrated or assimilated, have only Dutch friends and colleages and a Dutch wife or Dutch husbant.
beautiful pictures! Can you hear the minarets in your country to call muslims for prayers?
I don't think so, they are there for the symbolic, ceremonial and archetectonic reasons. The Dutch non-muslim population won't accept that and you would have riots and chaos if they did! After the assasination of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch moviemaker and journalist several mosques were attacked with molotov cocktails and a muslim school for children was burned down.
P.S.- In the present islamophobic or sceptic climate there is little tolerance and understanding for muslims. You have the far right fringe who attack everything which is Muslim and you have the accepted rightwing populists like Wilders, who is in parlaiment. But in my city of Arnhem the leftwing Socialist Party (SP) is against the establishment of a Turkish mosque in a Dutch peoples (workingclass) neighbourhood. They are left but they have Nationalist or patriotic elements in their ideology.
I have never heard a call for prayer in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague or Arnhem. In the past there was a Turkish mosque on the other side of the railtracks I live next to and sometimes I heard what sounded like a muslim prayer or music? But not a call for prayer.
Far right demonstration against the planning of a Mosque in Middelburg (see the design above here). The Slogan says: "No Mosque"
A burning Muslim primary school in Uden in the Southern-Dutch province Gelderland, a rural area with a lot of far right youth. The attack took place not long after the murder of Theo van Gogh on November the 2th 2004: