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View Poll Results: Should mosques be allowed to have a minarette?
Yes 73 52.90%
No 43 31.16%
I don't care 18 13.04%
What a minarette? 4 2.90%
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  #41  
Old 30.10.2006, 04:57
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

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In the past the jews were seen by some as the enemy, these days its muslims.
Jews were not acting intolerant or showing violent tendencies in Germany so I disagree with that comparison.
Quote:
We are constantly hearing about all sorts of things which people claim as Islamic traditions or customs which turn out to be rubbish.
Give me some examples of these "all sorts of things".
Quote:
Why is it that we have so much trouble drawing a distinction between some extremists and the main stream of the religion?
Because the mainstream has not been critical of the extremists and the % that sympathizes with the extremists is pretty high compared to other religions.

Quote:
Heck, does that mean if I see some crazy Christian preacher on the TV I should start to oppose the building of churches?
That is your choice...just as the majority community (Swiss) are exercising their choice. I personally would oppose the church if the views of the preacher were the direct message of Jesus and followed by majority of Christians (btw I oppose churches as well).

Quote:
I'm been to Islamic countries where churches stand next to mosques.
I have been too and lived there as well. Have you spoken to the Christians in confidence who went to those churches? Could you tell me which Islamic countries you have been to?

Quote:
I understand if people want to debate the role of minority religions in a majority Christian society - such debate is healthy and should take place
Yes how is that debate openly possible without risking violent backlash? Plenty of intellectuals are in hiding and under police protection for only exposing what Islamic holy books clearely say (this in Europe).
Why was Theo Van Gough murdered for making a documentary?
Why is Salman Rushdie in hiding? Plenty of intellectuals in Germany, France etc are under polic protection for writing mere articles!
Did the muslim community come out and condemn it?

Quote:
Since when does Saudi Arabia represent the entire Muslim world?
It does not but it definitely is the biggest backer and financial supporter of Sunni Islam. Please give me name of few Islamic countries where minorities are living without fear and muslims can leave Islam and convert to other religions openly?

Quote:
Why do we have the right to judge other Muslims because of the policies of Saudi Arabia? Are these mosques in Switzerland from Saudi Arabia?
No I am not judging muslims because of the policies of Saudi Arabia. I am judging Islam by the message of the religion and the message + actions of it's founder.

Quote:
Do we really want Switzerland to become the "Saudi Arabia" of Europe? I must admit that we seem to be doing a pretty good job of it these last few years.
That is very far from the truth despite all the negative things found in CH.
  #42  
Old 30.10.2006, 09:29
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

JamaicanRUM, I'm not going to answer your points line by line. You make gross generalisations such as "the % that sympathizes with the extremists is pretty high". You continue to raise points highlighting extreme examples from Islam, and then try to tie it back to the mainstream with statements like the one I just quoted.

This is an insult to the mainstream followers of Islam, they are not mostly sympathisers for extreme or violent behaviour. Are the people of Iraq mostly terrorists, or sympathise with the blood shed? I doubt it, but it would be easy to make such a generalisation.

You yourself have openly stated that as an atheist you oppose all religions, so I don't think we will be able to have a fruitful discussion about what is and isn't Islam. Sorry - I just don't think there's much more mileage in us exploring this angle, especially since you seem unable to separate the extreme versions of Islam from the mainstream. Unfortunately for those who want to put a small tower on the top of their building, you aren't alone in your opinions - a fact which I cannot deny, but disappoints me somewhat.

I think the vast majority of reasonable people (at least our forum members) realise that the percentage of Muslims who sympathise with extremism is not high. They can make that distinction. I am afraid however that as we continue to persecute and exclude mainstream muslims that some (I said some, not most) may start to become disillusioned and become more susceptible to the teachings of the more extreme forms.

It is extremism that we must oppose, not the building of a tower over a building where peaceful people worship.

Instead I'm going to take a slightly different direction and tell a story with photos. In my next post...
  #43  
Old 30.10.2006, 10:32
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

There's been a fair bit of stuff tossed around on this thread. Some people have voiced objections based on the fact that minarets might be ugly and clash with the architecure around them, or that the church towers "were there first" and therefore have some sort of right to be there, etc, etc.

A few days ago I visited the Zurich mosque to actually see for myself what all the fuss was about. I took some photos to post onto this thread for those who have not visited the mosque to see a little bit more about the mosque itself and the surrounding area.

To recap - the SVP have recently been calling for the Zurich mosque to tear down their minaret as a gesture to show if they are willing to integrate. There are a total of four mosques in Switzerland, a country that has a muslim population representing 8% of the total. Minarets exist on only two of these - planning permission has been denied by way of a "popular" vote for the other two.


Here's the first photo:



Here's a view showing the church tower across the road. It's a shot that shows the comparison well. I took a look at the church - a huge building on huge grounds. No traditional church spire - just an ugly piece of tower. Then I realised that many of the church towers I've seen in Switzerland aren't the "traditional" ones we all imagine, many are "modern" - huge, hideous and ugly.

Here's a shot of the mosque itself, a little closer:



With the exception of the minaret, the building itself has obviously been designed to look very Swiss (at least in the modern sense). There's the traditional box-like ugly concrete structure that we all recognise so well. Care has obviously been taken to blend in with the surroundings. As you'll see in a moment, the surroundings aren't exactly beautiful... In fact during this whole process I tried to find some camera angles where I could get a nice shot. Overhead tram lines, satellite dishes, huge TV aeriels and horrible architecture spoilt my efforts.

In this next shot you might see a little more of what I am getting at.



In case you are wondering where the minaret went, it's on the right hand side of the image - you'll see a small white peak poking out next to a turret of the same size and shape from the house next door. You'll notice that the ugly church tower is by far the dominant feature of this photo. You might appreciate some of the "beauty" of this area. Fans of Switzerland's supposedly clean air [swissinfo.ch] will perhaps notice the brown haze in the background. Those of you who are used to seeing a minaret under a brown sky won't be disappointed...



I took this shot because I wanted to show the hideous building on the right. I think if anything has to be demolished to improve the visual appeal of the area it shouldn't be the mosque! I also wanted to show the many satellite dishes and aerials that jut up from the roof tops, but I wasn't able to capture it properly with this shot. If you visit the area and look around you'll see what I mean.

I'd be interested if anyone has any photos from the surrounding areas of the mosques where they were denied planning permission to build the minaret - I wonder if a minaret would really disturb the visual appeal of these areas - because in the case of the Zurich mosque this is not an issue - the area is quite ugly anyway, IMHO.

I sincerely hope that my photos will bring another angle to this thread and give people who have never actually seen what we are talking about the chance to form a more informed opinion about the issue.

If you quote this post in a reply - please be so kind as to not quote the images a second time. Thanks.

Last edited by mark; 30.10.2006 at 10:43. Reason: added link to anti-smog campaign (unrelated)
  #44  
Old 30.10.2006, 13:01
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

Pashosh, it is a convention to build mosques with minarets, not as religious edict, you are correct. Just as the Bible doesn't tell anyone to build bell-towers. The purpose of a minaret is twofold:

To stick up in the air so people can find the place.
To allow an imam to sound the call to prayer and have a better chance of people hearing it.

A church bell-tower serves the same purposes.

Both also serve the secondary purpose of being a bit of a “See how much we like you, God. We built a big tall bit that looks impressive”

I think the Swiss are a bit unlucky that this particular mosque is so small and boring. I have seen the Grand Mosques in Bahrain, Teheran, Abu Dhabi and Muscat, to name a few and some of them are the absolute mutt’s nuts.

Imagine having this on your skyline, and imagine when it's finished in white marble and gold leaf.



or being able to wander around in here:



That sad little white building is not much of an exemplar really.

jamaicanRUM, like mark I see little point in addressing your points line by line. I would just make one general point. The number of people directly involved in the WTC attack was estimated by the CIA to have been around 40 – 60. The number of Muslims who went to Abu Dhabi Eid prayer yard the following Friday to pray for the victims was estimated as being around 25-30,000.

I am an atheist, churches of any kind mean little to me, but I have to agree with mark’s point that when we have to try to justify the argument by comparing Switzerland to third-world non-democracies we are not elevating ourselves at all, just using the “Well, at least I’m not as bad as you” argument I remember well from primary school. A modern, civilised society (even a religious one) has a duty to try to be a decent society in absolute terms, not just by comparison to the last winner of the psychopath of the month club.

What’s also weird, is that there are quite a few Turkish-style onion-domed churches in the area surrounding Zurich. They happen to be Christian, but they look Muslim. Why weren’t they banned? Or isn’t it anything to do with aesthetics?

Wow. Editing has screwed this up a bit.
I was trying to add that it was lucky that the Swiss Muslims at least tried to avoid the unfortunate phallic aspect of some of their minarets. In Bahrain the mosque on the corner of my road was painted a dusky pink and had a minaret the look more penile than most penises. To direct people to my villa I would say “Head for Bar Bar supermarket, turn right at penis mosque and then right between the white gates.”

Last edited by mark; 30.10.2006 at 14:21. Reason: fixing images - moved them onto the server, they were having trouble loading.
  #45  
Old 30.10.2006, 13:31
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

Thank's Mark, for the pics and the time you've spent to bring legitamate points to this discussion. I can learn alot about putting an argument across on this site.
  #46  
Old 30.10.2006, 14:54
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

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Pashosh, Or isn’t it anything to do with aesthetics?
Well it's obvious that aesthetics is not the main argument even if some Swiss are using it as a cover

Quote:
Abu Dhabi Eid prayer yard the following Friday to pray for the victims was estimated as being around 25-30,000.
How do you know that they were all there to pray for the victims? Friday is a prayer day so I don't think we can automatically conclude that all 30k were there praying for the kafir victims. I can also give countless examples that show the opposite reaction. That will end up turning turn into a pissing match

My argument against Islam are not based on 9/11 but rather on the core of Islamic teaching, conduct of it's "prophet" + the intolerance that is clearely preached against infidels.

LookI just don't want Europe entering future Islamic dark age after coming out of Christian dark age.

I will stop discussing as EF is not the right forum for this kind of discussion. I will let you guys stay with the topic of minaret.

I will stick with my views of not wanting any intolerant religion from succeeding (be it Islam or Christianity) Peace Out
  #47  
Old 30.10.2006, 15:20
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

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I don't think we can automatically conclude that all 30k were there praying for the kafir victims. ......... Peace Out
I too will drop this. Just wanted to say that the Eid yard is normally closed except for the big days in Islam, 3 times a year. The opening post 9/11 was a special for the victims. Having said that, the UAE is not Saudi Arabia, and is (or was) very pro-USA.
  #48  
Old 28.03.2007, 21:56
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

I’m new to the board. I’ll post a formal introduction in the intros when I know for sure whether I’ll be relocating to Zurich. I was born and raised in the U.S. I don’t know my lineage, but I have to assume it is European. I also happen to be Muslim. I converted some 10 years ago while studying at University. I’ve been researching the political climate in Switzerland as it relates to Islam as I have a vested interest if in fact I decide to move to Zurich. Since 9-11 happened, I’ve struggled with combating personal and political prejudices of people who think they are informed or somehow elevated beyond me because of my beliefs. The minaret issue is really simple. If the Swiss want to ban the minaret than they must also ban church towers. The two symbols serve identical purpose. The beliefs behind each purpose are irrelevant to the debate. I lived in a community in Michigan that struggled with a similar issue. An Islamic Center wanted to build an addition to their existing building. They had plenty of free space in a commercial zone that was directly in front of a residential neighborhood. The neighborhood residents fought the project because they said it was too large of a building for the area. The school was built and common sense prevailed. The irony of the issue was that right next the Islamic center was a church twice its size. No one complained about the church being too large. People will argue against Islam just for the sake of arguing. I understand where the phobia comes from, but it pains me to see injustice on either side of the debate.

BTW – I’ll respond to one misconception that everyone seems to believe. Female circumcision is strictly forbidden in Islam. Because it is practiced in some African nations the rest of the world seems to think it is Islamic. Obviously, at least one member on this board has the same misconception in their knowledge base.
  #49  
Old 29.03.2007, 08:42
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

While reading this thread, the local church bells (reformiert) starting ringing and they reminded me that the ringing of the church bells are also used as a social part of life in Switzerland.Today for instance everyone who hears the bells knows that someone in the community has died and that the funeral service will be today another example is the half hour bell ringing on saturday evenings at five o`clock that signals no more work till monday. In some villages in Engadine there is the six o`clock wake up get up for work bells and the seven o`clock in the evening bells which is for the local children a signal that it`s time to go home and have dinner.
  #50  
Old 29.03.2007, 09:23
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

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<snip to remove sniping post, AbFab - you should be more constructive>
AbFab, I am shocked and disappointed in your response. But sadly not suprised. You are of course entitled to your opinions but as a moderator I would expect you NOT to get drawn into making such a blatant slurr against someones religion. In fact, I'm outraged that a MODERATOR behaves the way you do.

Last edited by Lob; 29.03.2007 at 09:33. Reason: Remove sniping. No need for it.
  #51  
Old 29.03.2007, 09:25
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

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<snip needless quote>
the irony is that you, preaching to the expat community (often known as The Converted), are actually targetting the wrong people. 19/34 people said Yes; I'll lump the "Don't cares" in with them and you have 26/34. Discard the dummies who said "what's a minarette?" and you have 26/32 which is quite a majority.

You might want to start another thread on how you might be accepted if you were to come here as a Muslim.
  #52  
Old 29.03.2007, 09:37
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

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AbFab, I am shocked and disappointed in your response. But sadly not suprised. You are of course entitled to your opinions but as a moderator I would expect you NOT to get drawn into making such a blatant slurr against someones religion. In fact, I'm outraged that a MODERATOR behaves the way you do.
C'mon - let's get real here! There is no racial slur here whatsoever and none was inteneded. I simply expected a more sober and reasoned argument from someone who claims to be a Muslem convert than "pissy attitude".

I was surprised that he could put forward no better argument than 'shooting himslef in the foot' and display a total intollerance to everything but his own ideals - and even wants to impose them from halfway round the world on a country that he has never even been too...
  #53  
Old 29.03.2007, 09:39
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

If my posts are to be deleted - and I cannot express my opinion as a moderator here. I resign...
  #54  
Old 29.03.2007, 09:48
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

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If my posts are to be deleted - and I cannot express my opinion as a moderator here. I resign...
AbFab, you have to bear in mind that sometimes an opinion (and to an extent reputation-giving) when given as a mod on a forum needs extra consideration. I'll partially quote you to show you what I mean:

Quote:
Thanks for re-lighting this damp squib.
In some ways I agree - but stevens70701 just joined the board - should we ban old threads from being bumped? I think we can't

Quote:
I am a little surprised that someone who appears to have never been to Switzerland knows exactly what the Swiss should do with their own country...
From what I read, he actually was stating facts about certain rules and drawing an example from his experience in MI. Hence I suggested he start a new thread to draw on the experience of Mulims who are also EF members and live here so that he can see whether his moving here would present a problem to him, personally.

There is absolutely no need for the sniping and griping - it's simply not constructive - and this discussion was meant to be a constructive discussion around the issue of minarettes.
  #55  
Old 29.03.2007, 09:56
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

JR fighting the force and trying not to get sucked into another controversial debate..............but failing

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I’ve struggled with combating personal and political prejudices of people who think they are informed or *somehow elevated beyond me because of my beliefs.
Agree that lot of the people are prejudiced without any information or knowledge of Islam. They just buy into whatever their right wing leaders tell them. Same way some followers of Islam believe everything they have been fed by their religious leaders and man made texts. See the similarity? They are as bad as each other.

Btw don't you feel that you are *somehow also elevated beyond non-believers because of your superior and "true" beliefs?

On the other hand what do we do with free thinkers who are actually informed and have studied and researched the teachings and actions of Mohammed? Should those people shut up just because followers of Islam are blinded by faith and love for Mohammed?

Quote:
The minaret issue is really simple. If the Swiss want to ban the minaret than they must also ban church towers. The two symbols serve identical purpose.
I don't mind both being banned. On the other hand you as an American who does not even live in Switzerland thinks that you have some sort of right to suggest what the Swiss "MUST" ban Would you also say that Saudi Arabia "MUST" ban building of mosques? Frankly if you don't then you are a hypocrite.


Quote:
The beliefs behind each purpose are irrelevant to the debate.
In that case your example of Michigan is irrelevant to Switzerland mosque debate as well People have an image of Islam based on actions of it's followers, it's founder and it's religious text. Rightly or wrongly you will never be able to separate the issue of actual building construction from the beliefs behind the building (when it comes to public opinion).


Quote:
People will argue against Islam just for the sake of arguing.
People will defend Islam for the sake of defending. Sir I argue against religion in general and Islam in particular because I am a free thinker and would not want any extreme and totalitarian ideology to succeed.

Quote:
BTW – I’ll respond to one misconception that everyone seems to believe. Female circumcision is strictly forbidden in Islam. Because it is practiced in some African nations the rest of the world seems to think it is Islamic.
It's not as black and white as you are making it out but I agree that the religious text does not specifically ask for female circumcision.

Last edited by jamaicanRUM; 29.03.2007 at 10:07.
  #56  
Old 29.03.2007, 14:19
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

I guess I’m being accused of being too general in my post. I wrongly assumed that people would be able to make a simple connection. The issue with the minaret is not just an issue in Switzerland. The same thing is happening all over the world, including Muslim countries. I compared an event in Michigan with the issue in Switzerland to highlight this point. The opposition rarely admits the real reason is they fear the unknown with regard to what will happen in the future as the Muslim population continues to expand. Holding opposition while bringing forward an excuse such as it doesn’t integrate with Swiss architecture and culture is hypocrisy. I can sympathize with this fear given the current events of the last few years. Yes, there are terrorists amongst the Muslim population. Yes, they have ill-fated evil intentions. No, the majority of the Muslims in this world do not sympathize with the terrorist. The local people trying to hold onto what little identity they have remaining by building an Islamic center with a minaret are not going to threaten your society or your way of life.

I’m not going to respond to unrelated posts (with the exception of one issue) that assume I believe one thing or another because I stated I am Muslim. The question at hand has been answered. And yes I am thankful to see that the majority of the members of this board see no problem with Islamic Center’s having a minaret.

The issue of female circumcision is black and white. Women have a stated right to sexual pleasure. Removing the clit eliminates sexual pleasure and therefore it is forbidden. I don’t expect the rest of the non-Muslim world to follow this line of logic; however all Muslims are bound to this rule regardless of whether it is specifically stated.
  #57  
Old 17.06.2007, 16:17
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

I don't care one way or another, but if I can make a comment without offending anyone: minarette's are phallic symbols, as are church steeples, obelisks, domes, islamic/spanish window arches and other such buildings and structures.

They represent the male or female organs - in other words big tits and erect dicks!
This user groans at Jamesk for this post:
  #58  
Old 17.06.2007, 18:04
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

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Btw don't you feel that you are *somehow also elevated beyond non-believers because of your superior and "true" beliefs?
......

On the other hand what do we do with free thinkers who are actually informed and have studied and researched the teachings and actions of Mohammed? Should those people shut up just because followers of Islam are blinded by faith and love for Mohammed?
.......
you have some sort of right to suggest what the Swiss "MUST" ban Would you also say that Saudi Arabia "MUST" ban building of mosques? Frankly if you don't then you are a hypocrite.

.....

Sir I argue against religion in general and Islam in particular because I am a free thinker ...
Hmm...judging from this and your previous posts on this thread it appears to me Sir that being a free thinker also impells you to argue against all the dictates of logic.

  #59  
Old 17.06.2007, 21:36
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

Muahahhahha

You've obviously never heard of "dar ul islam" and "dar ul harb"

But then again, given the London Tube attacks or the Madrid attacks, and your tolerance to give your enemies free play, I'd understand your PC suicidality

Last edited by marmoset; 20.06.2007 at 17:43. Reason: shouldn't post under the influence...
  #60  
Old 24.06.2007, 18:39
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Re: Mosques with or without Minarette?

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I don't care one way or another, but if I can make a comment without offending anyone: minarette's are phallic symbols, as are church steeples, obelisks, domes, islamic/spanish window arches and other such buildings and structures.

They represent the male or female organs - in other words big tits and erect dicks!
James,

for someone that comes from Kashmir, you are showing an amazing level of insensitivity regards the topic ....

or were you just trolling for more bitch-slapping ....

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Mosques in Switzerland - Zurich & Baden ahswitzerland Other/general 5 29.07.2008 00:30


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