Elveţia, dur criticată pentru votul de intoleranţă religioasă

Sebastien Bozon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


Published: November 30, 2009

GENEVA — Switzerland’s political leaders on Monday faced a chorus of criticism at home and abroad over an overwhelming popular vote to ban construction of minarets.

The referendum, which took place Sunday, has propelled the country to the forefront of a European debate on how far countries should go to assimilate Muslim immigrants and Islamic culture.

Government ministers trying to contain the fallout from the vote voiced shock and disappointment with a result that the Swiss establishment newspaper Le Temps called a “brutal sign of hostility” to Muslims that was “inspired by fear, fantasy and ignorance.”

The country’s justice minister, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, said the vote was not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture, but reflected fears among the population.

With support for the ban from 57.5 percent of voters, however, ministers were forced to acknowledge that they had failed to quell popular anxieties about the impact of what right-wing parties have portrayed as “creeping Islamization.”

Ms. Widmer-Schlumpf said that it was “undeniably a reflection of the fears and uncertainties that exist among the population; concerns that Islamic fundamentalist ideas could lead to the establishment of parallel societies.”

Outside Switzerland, criticism was harsh.

“I am a bit shocked by this decision,” the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said in an interview with RTL radio, calling it “an expression of intolerance.” He added: “I hope the Swiss come back on this decision.”

The Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, whose country holds the rotating E.U. presidency, described the vote as “an expression of quite a bit of prejudice and maybe even fear.”

Muslim communities within Switzerland reacted cautiously, clearly concerned to avoid inflaming tensions. “We were a bit shocked, we hadn’t expected this result,” Abdel Majri, president of the League of Swiss Muslims, said in an interview. “This is another step towards Islamophobia in Switzerland and Europe in general.”

The government and most Swiss political parties had opposed the motion, he noted, attributing the size of the majority in favor of the ban to right-wing playing to popular fears and misconceptions, he said. “We are looking at how we can repair the situation,” he said.

Muslims in Europe expressed concern that there would be less understanding of the ban among non-European Muslims less familiar with European politics and culture. “We are a bit afraid of the rise of extremism on both sides,” said Ayman Ali, secretary general of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe.

Those concerns were born out by the stern reaction from even moderate Muslim leaders in the Middle East. The ban was “not considered just an attack on freedom of beliefs, but also an attempt to insult the feelings of the Muslim community in and outside Switzerland,” Ali Gomaa, an influential Egyptian mufti, was quoted as saying by the Middle East News Agency.

The head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, representing 57 Muslim countries, expressed disappointment with the vote, which a statement on the its Web site said “stood to be interpreted as xenophobic, prejudiced, discriminative and against the universal human rights values.”

The statement added that “it would tarnish the reputation of the Swiss people as a tolerant and progressive society.”

Swiss newspapers quoted Ms. Widmer-Schlumpf as saying Swiss exports and tourism from the Middle East could suffer as a result of the vote Sunday.

Critics of the ban within Switzerland, meanwhile, started exploring the possibilities for challenging its legality. Ms. Widmer-Schlumpf reportedly said the ban was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Switzerland is a signatory.

Sursa: TheNewYorkTimes.com

Citeşte şi:

Votul elveţian al urii

Elveţia a votat în favoarea interzicerii minaretelor

Elveţia a votat în favoarea interzicerii minaretelor


Peste 57 procente din votanţii Elveţiei au susţinut propunerea formaţiunii de dreapta Partidul Popular Elveţian de a interzice construcţia de minarete. Astfel, populaţia majoritară din 22 din cele 26 cantoane au votat pentru interzicerea turnurilor din moschei, de unde musulmanii sunt chemaţi la rugăciune.

Politicienii de dreapta au sărbătorit rezultatul, în timp ce guvernul s-a grăbit să îi asigure pe minoritarii musulmani că interzicerea minaretelor “nu este o respingere a comunităţii musulmane, a religiei sau culturii.”

Partidul Popular – cel mai mare din Elveţia- a declanşat iniţiativa după ce a strâns 100.000 de semnături în acest sens.

Având majoritate, atât la cantoane, cât şi la numărul voturilor, iniţiativa va fi înscrisă în Constituţia ţării, iar guvernul a anunţat că va respecta decizia alegătorilor, deşi subliniase anterior că măsura este neconstituţională.

Ministrul Justiţiei Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf aprecia că rezultatul “reflectă temerilor populaţiei în faţa tendinţelor fundamentaliste islamice.”

Rezultatul a fost criticat de comunitatea musulmană, dar şi de cea creştină, care sublinia că este “inadmisibil că o minoritate religioasă este subiect al unui tratament inegal.”

Sondajele de opinie anterioare apreciau că iniţiativa va fi respinsă, iar rezultatul a fost o surpriză. Circa cinci procente din populaţia Elveţiei este de religie musulmană. Multi din politicienii Elvetiei au avetizat anterior că este posibil ca lumea musulmană să recurgă la repercusiuni în cazul aprobării referendumului.

Sursa: Antena3.ro