Minarets and martinets

Much handwringing (and some hand-washing) commentary has followed the Swiss decision to nationally ban planning permission for minarets for mosques. Here is my bit.

First of all minarets are an historical artefact that are not a requirement of being a Muslim and are not specified in the Koran. They stem from a time when timekeeping was not widely disseminated and the only mass medium was a man screaming his head off from the top of a tower. In these times, the quintuple daily prayer schedule required of a Muslim can be maintained by a myriad of methods.

Further, no western country that allows minarets allows for the broadcast of prayer calls either by electromechanical means or by personal intonation. In these countries the traditional Christian practice of bell ringing is in abeyance and happens infrequently and then mainly as either an artistic pursuit or as a civic celebration. In Muslim countries the vast majority of prayer calls are either totally electromechanical or at least electrically amplified.

Secondly, the process was exhaustively democratic and can be reversed should a better argument emerge. This is not what obtains in Muslim countries. Indeed, in the majority of the Muslim world (with the partial exception of Malaysia and Indonesia) Christian churches are forbidden.

Persons looking to impose the external appurtenances of their minority traditions on their hosts while taking advantage of opportunities that they do not afford others where they are in the majority are clearly inconsistent.

I, personally, refuse to admit to intolerant illiberal racism  when accused of the crime by an intolerant illiberal racist hypocrite.

(As an aside, how grand to be writing about something other than NAMA..)

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