For anyone who doesn’t already know, Switzerland voted and passed a ban on the construction of minarets. But thankfully Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf “[reassured] Swiss Muslims, saying the decision was ‘not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture.'” Then what kind of decision was it, Ms. Widmer-Schlumpf? It’s kind of like that time France banned headscarves because they were oppressive to women.
I was going to write something facetious about how progressive the European countries are with all this religious tolerance, but I really can’t. It’s just ridiculous. Why do states take it upon themselves to integrate/isolate religions into their societies? I’m not particularly pleased with how the U.S. runs things, but at least policies and laws don’t directly address religious practices. The biggest issue I remember was a few years ago when a Muslim woman wanted to get her driver’s license, but the DMV would not take her picture unless her face and hair were uncovered.
And sure, religion has played a huge role in preventing laws regarding gay marriage and abortion, but I truly believe that when it comes down to the wire, religious definitions and ideals will not stop human rights and law from developing. And in turn, law should not stop religion. If someone wants to build a minaret, how does that encourage extremist ideals? How does the prevention of minaret construction encourage religious tolerance?
I just don’t get it. And to be perfectly honest, I’m disappointed to see a woman be a spokesperson for this.