Calmy-Rey lets the cat out of the bag:
The trade with Arab countries is at stake! Can’t have that! Â We can’t alienateÂ the Arabs, what to do, what to do?
Â Therefore, the anti-minaret initiative is evil and must be nipped in the butt.
On Radio DRS Â the Swiss Foreign Minister and Ahmadinejad-hussy Calmy-Rey spoke Â against the anti-minaret initiative. The proposed ban on minarets infringes on freedom of religion and was also a danger for the economy and security in Switzerland. “It is as if we would ban church towers,” she said. (well, Calmy Rey already contradicts herself in the next sentence, because banning church towers is unlikely to result in terrorism/ed)
Another critical point was the backlash Â in the Muslim world against Â Switzerland, which the adoption of the initiative could trigger. With reference to the impact of the cartoon controversy in Denmark Â the anti-minaret initiative Â was also dangerous for the foreign policy and relations between Switzerland and other countries. Above all, trade with Arab countries is at stake and Switzerland can’t alienate the Arabs.
More from JW DeutschlandÂ in German
Islam-wary Swiss may ban minarets
Switzerland will hold a referendum on banning the construction of new minarets on November 29 in response to a petition for a popular vote on the issue, the government said.Â
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A group of politicians from the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and Federal Democratic Union gathered enough signatures last year to force the referendum, but the government opposes a ban.Â
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Switzerland is home to more than 300,000 Muslims – about four percent of the population – as well as hundreds of mosques, but only a handful of the mosques have a minaret tower and applications to build more prompted the campaign for a ban.ÂSupporters of a ban say minarets do not have any religious justification but are symbols of Islamic power which injures Swiss constitutional rights to religious freedom.
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The right-wing SVP, the country’s biggest party which won 29% of the vote in the last election, has drawn accusations of racism for its anti-immigration campaigns, including one featuring white sheep kicking a black sheep off a Swiss flag.