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VOTING AGAINST MINARETES VOTING AGAINST TOLERANCE December 2, 2009

Posted by cristobalgomez in Uncategorized.
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VOTING AGAINST MINARETES VOTING AGAINST TOLERANCE UNITED for Intercultural Action wants to express its concerns and deep regret on the decision of the Swiss referendum voters to ban the construction of new minarets in the country. 57% had casted the vote for this choice promoted by the right wing extremist People´s Party. The way in which this campaign has been conducted was based in unfair prejudice against Swiss Muslim community which it is an attack to the pacific coexistence that had been held in the country so far. It is not democratic to show a black veiled Muslim woman and a forest of missiles like minarets on the pure red and white Swiss flag. The same political party gained 29% of the votes in the last federal elections on 2007. In that time they also used a racist poster showing tree white sheep kicking a black one against a backdrop of the Swiss flag under the slogan: For more Security².  That was an attempt to appeal to the fears and emotions of the people as they recently did again in the referendum campaign against minarets. There is no evidence of radical Islamism in Switzerland so this decision could create a problem in which there aren´t any.  Hatred and Extremism cannot be fought with hatred and intolerance. Besides complicated issues such immigration, diversity and religious coexistence cannot be explained by simple answers as racist populism is doing in Switzerland and other European countries. Europan Democratic Civil Society engaged in the fight against intolerance cannot be quite in front of such attack against our common values of Tolerance, diversity, free of religion and respect for human dignity. Therefore, ³UNITED  for Intercultural Action² hopes that this decision will be quickly challenged by legal and democratic means.

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