It`s great news that the Swiss have voted to ban minarets, despite the propaganda blitz from business and government elites that characterized the defense of western values as xenophobic and unwelcoming. Business fears the sort of boycott that Denmark faced from the Muslim world over the cartoon controversy a few years back.
Interestingly, one group — women — saw the issue more personally, and the pro-ban group wisely emphasized women`s concerns by featuring a burqa on its posters.
Using the burqa image in combination with the minarets was brilliant; connecting the construction of mosques with the oppression of women captured the big picture of cultural threat from Muslim immigration.
The London Times noted the concern of women voters about burqazation: Women lead Swiss in vote to ban minarets (November 29, 2009).
Forget about tranquil Alpine scenery and cowbells: one of the most startling features of the referendum campaign has been a poster showing a menacing woman in a burqa beside minarets rising from the Swiss flag.
It seems to have struck a nerve in Langenthal, a small town near Bern where Muslims plan to put up a minaret next to their prayer room in a bleak former paint factory.
“If we give them a minaret, they`ll have us all wearing burqas,” said Julia Werner, a local housewife. “Before you know it, we`ll have sharia law and women being stoned to death in our streets. We won`t be Swiss any more.” [...]
Tatiana, a teacher who had previously voted for the left, was quoted in a newspaper as saying she would vote for the minaret ban as she could “no longer bear being mistreated and terrorised by boys who believe women are worthless”.
So true. The people — and particularly women — understand what is at stake.
Hopefully this vote will encourage other rejections of Islamic values and immigration throughout Europe.