Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets on Sunday, barring construction of the iconic mosque towers in a surprise vote that put Switzerland at the forefront of a European backlash against a growing Muslim population.
Muslim groups in Switzerland and abroad condemned the vote as biased and anti-Islamic. Business groups said the decision hurt Switzerland’s international standing and could damage relations with Muslim nations and wealthy investors who bank, travel and shop there.
When I read the first paragraph I thought it was rather sad that the Swiss should be seen to be suppressing religious freedom like that.
But when I read the second paragraph I was even more saddened by the hypocrisy of it all.
Perhaps the Muslim groups who objected should have a look at the restrictions on building and repairing Christian churches in countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia and do something about those before complaining about the restrictions of others.
Sauce, goose, gander and all that.
As for the response of the business groups, well, it reminded me of Tom Lehrer's saying, "Christmas, with its spirit of giving, reminds us of what we all most deeply and sincerely believe in. I refer, of course, to money."