In a national referendum the Swiss people voted to ban the construction of minarets on mosques. Not mosques, but minarets.
Oh, my, are Muslims in Muslim nations upset. Reports the Daily Telegraph:
Maskuri Abdillah, head of Indonesia’s biggest Muslim group, Nahdlatul Ulama, said: “This is the hatred of Swiss people against Muslim communities. They don’t want to see a Muslim presence in their country and this intense dislike has made them intolerant.”
Egypt’s Mufti Ali Gomaa, the Egyptian government’s official interpreter of Islamic law, denounced the minaret ban as an “insult” to Muslims and “an attack on freedom of beliefs”.
In Pakistan, Khurshid Ahmad, vice president of Jamaat-e-Islami, a hardline Islamic political party that is represented in the parliament, said: “This development reflects extreme Islamophobia among people in the West. This is an effort to provoke Muslims and prompt a clash between Islam and the West.”
In fact, I believe the restriction is an unjustified restriction on religious liberty. But I can say that because I live in a country which actually protects the freedom of people to worship as they see fit. All people.
In contrast to Indonesia, Egypt, and Pakistan, in which religious minorities are routinely victimized and persecuted. In Indonesia it is mostly private violence–even Christian school girls have been murdered. I have visited the ruins of churches and Bible schools destroyed by Muslim mobs. Local authorities then have refused to allow the facilities to be rebuilt.
Eqypt does little to punish those who kill Coptic Christians and destroy their homes and businesses. The government routinely discriminates against non-Muslims. Pakistan also discriminates against Christians and other religious minorities in many ways, including jailing anyone convicted of “blaspheming” the Prophet. Non-Muslims face mob violence.
As I’ve previously written for the Spectator, this is simply the way of life in most Muslim nations. Even moderate Islamic countries, such as Morocco, generally are less than hospitable to Christians and other religious minorities.
So Switzerland’s response to its Muslim critics should be a simple “Shut up!” When Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, and other Islamic nations start protecting the rights of Jews, Christians, Bahais, and other religious minorities, then they can lecture the West on religious liberty. Until then, they should just Shut up!