Banning Minarets and Democracy

Sunday, November 29, 2009 will be remembered as a turning point in the protection of our democracy and freedom. I believe that all of the West must congratulate every Swiss citizen that voted to ban the building of Minarets as well as those who agreed to allow them to be built.

This is the democracy that western women and men were brought up on prior to the introduction of political correctness, more appropriately called "shut your mouth."

Swiss citizens as well as all westerners are in great need to sit back and analyze the facts without any exaggeration or undermining the issues. All of us have a great responsibility towards our children and grandchildren. History will remember us as a great people who fought to keep democracy and freedom, or rather, a people who were unable to protect it.

Referendum plays an important role in democracy and through democracy power is given to every citizen. The result of any referendum is sovereign, and governments are obligated to follow the desire of their citizens.

In the early 1970’s I had the opportunity to observe two important referendums in Italy. The first was in favor of divorce, the second was for abortion. Both referendums were against Catholic teaching. In spite of the fact that the Vatican is in the center of Rome, the Italian capitol, and the head of the Catholic Church is also the Bishop of the eternal city, I never heard any instigation from the Church, its leaders, or political conservatives at that time.

I grew up convinced that I could disagree with your idea but I still respect you. Arabs, on the other hand, think and act differently than this. Arab-Muslim leaders throughout the whole world condemned the Swiss referendum. Some Arab leaders instigated their followers to rise aggressively against such a decision. I am sure that we will soon read and hear about the boycott of Swiss products, and maybe Swiss embassies will be closed in some Arabs countries.

Various western voices including some Vatican officials condemned the result of that referendum. I wonder if those leaders forgot that in a democracy the power belongs to the people, or can it be that such political leaders cannot stay away from so-called political correctness. The question remains that if political correctness were really correct, would one use it to criticize the will of the people, or instead accept the outcome in spite of any disagreement.

In western society there is a tendency to please strangers without consideration to their own people. Furthermore, instead of condemning the referendum results, I was hoping that our political leaders would be more effective in putting pressure on dictatorial and fascist regimes ruling in Arab Islamic countries in order to bring democracy and freedom to those populations. How dare those Arab leaders criticize a Swiss citizen for his choice in his own homeland concerning strangers, while the same Arab leaders do not give any respect to a citizen with a different face living in his own country.

The Grand Mufti of Cairo was very angry about the result of the referendum, criticizing the Swiss people for lacking respect for freedom of religion. Wow!! I wish the Egyptian regime could give Egyptians even one-half of one percent of the freedoms that the Swiss people enjoy. I do not want to take the time to describe the 1400 year history of oppression, discrimination and political correctness that Copts have endured in their own land.

Is there any political or religious leader in all of Egypt who would be willing to stand up honestly and admit that Copts have been under siege for more than 1400 years? Is there any political leader in the West who would be willing to stand up and put aside his political correctness to demand that those who wish to build a Minaret in someone else’s home must first respect basic human rights in his own home. It is time that everything be called by its own name, without hiding the facts, and with no special privilege given to any ethnic group or religion.

On behalf of Voice of the Copts, I urge all the citizens of the European Union to promote a similar referendum in each country along with a demand to their political leaders to put pressure on those regimes in order to help the religious minority in those countries to have basic human rights, democracy and human respect.   

The real issue of this referendum was the goal of putting an end to the building of Minarets (architecture) and not the banning of the construction of Mosques as Arab-Muslim leaders and those with politically correct views would have us believe.

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