Swiss Man Builds Minaret to Protest Ban
2009-12-11Friday, 11 December 2009
A Swiss businessman has built a minaret on his company building in protest of his fellow citizens’ recent referendum decision to ban minarets. Guillaume Morand, who is not a Muslim, was disgusted by the decision and decided to extend a pre-existing chimney, turning it into a mock minaret. "It was scandalous that the Swiss voted for the ban. Now we have the support of all the far-right parties across Europe. This is shameful," he said. Mr. Morand put up the minaret on Tuesday not only to protest the decision but also to send a message of peace.
The recent referendum results came as a surprise to those who had been following the developments in the situation; opinion polls released just before the official vote predicted that the motion would fail. However, it passed with 57% of voters approving the right-wing motion to ban the construction of minarets.
Members of the far-right Swiss People’s Party were responsible for bringing the issue to a public vote. Their actions were praised by other right-wing parties across Europe. Mr. Morand believes that Switzerland’s other political parties are at fault for the ban, for they did not do enough to campaign against the motion. "They were all against it but they did not explain the issue clearly to the country," he said.