Monday, November 30, 2009

Banning Minarets in Switzerland?!

Well, the latest on the European angst over Islamic incursion has taken place. The normally tolerant, politically neutral Swiss have voted a referendum into place, banning the construction of Minarets anywhere within Switzerland. This doesn't prohibit the practice of Islam, nor does it require that the four existing Minarets which currently exist on Swiss soil to be torn down, but it does mean that no more can be put up.

This move has been decried by Muslim leaders as a violation of religious freedom. It has been called an act of religious intolerance by the Swiss populace. And (I shudder to say it) the Muslims are actually right for once! It IS religious intolerance. It's certainly a violation of religious freedom, to say nothing of free property rights.

That having been said, I understand completely why the Swiss, and before them the French, have begun taking measures that are rather blatent violations of the general principle of religious freedom. Why are Europeans banning the burqua? Or the hijab? Why are girls being told that they cannot wear headscarves in school, and men being told to pray more privately instead of on city street corners?

The answer is because of Islamic intolerance.

Yes, banning new Minarets is wrong. But don't be fooled that any private land owner who decided to take one down on property that had been rightfully sold or forclosed to a non-Muslim would be met with angry protests and threats of violence. In nations where the population is predominantly Muslim, tolerance for other religions is unheard of, and they would not hesitate (make no mistake about it!) to ban the wearing of the crucifix or the building of Churches. Do you really think that a worldview that nearly executed a teacher for naming a teddy bear Muhammed would think twice about outlawing Judeo-Christianity? Again and again, Islamist interests have repeatedly attempted to pass blasphemy laws outlawing the defaming of Allah. Yes, they want to be able to criticize other people's religion, but they want it made against the law for anyone to criticize theirs, essentially destroying free speech while simultaneously enjoying all its benefits. They combine the tactics of violence and hatred with silver-tongued spokespersons who remind people that Islam is presumably a religion of peace, and that most Muslims are decent, hardworking and law-abiding people.

Maybe so, say the Europeans, but why is it that those decent, hardworking, law-abiding Muslims never seem to lift a damned finger to stop the violent outbursts against those who disagree with them in a non-violent way? It's no wonder many in the Old Country are beginning to say that they've had enough. I can't say that I blame them.

On the other hand, as an atheist I've tasted religious intolerance of a different sort quite frequently in this country, and I know how it feels to be a persecuted minority. It's hard to be hated, believe me, I know. People wrongly blame you for all sorts of shit that you didn't do. So I can sympathize, to a limited extent. I know how it is.

The difference is, that atheists are called monsters, while Muslims, on occasion, actually are.

Yes, on the one hand, I defend freedom of speech and religion, but then I USE that freedom of speech and religion to criticize Islam right back. You guys who are protesting the banning of Minarets? You fucking ASKED for it, people! You've been asking for it for decades! How many riots and bombings, and angry demonstrations did you think it would take before Europeans finally decided that they would risk losing freedom of religion just to get rid of YOU? How long did you think it would take before they got sick and tired of you guys going on and on about how the majority of Muslims are decent folk, while watching those decent folk do nothing about the minority who aren't so damned decent? We know how it works. First you use Western tolerance to get in, and then you take away western tolerance to STAY in, and the next thing we know, Europe is finally Muslim, just as you guys have wanted since A.D. 700. I know, I know, first it was the Christians who stood in your way, meeting your intolerance with equal intolerance, and then it was the secularists, who keep telling you that you don't get undue favoritism just because you think your religion says you do. It's frustrating, isn't it? The way science tells you that your beliefs are full of shit? Yeah, so you're out to weasel your way in, and shut it down from the inside. Look, Muslims, you may have come up with a clever way to use our principles of tolerance and political correctness against us, but don't think we who are part of the Freethought movement aren't on to you. We are watching.

For the rest of you out there, who are neither atheist nor Muslim, there is an even more important lesson here. It's that if a majority want to take away the rights from a minority, a democracy tends to do that, even though it's wrong. If a majority of whites want to take away the rights of a minority of blacks, that can be done. But it's wrong. If a majority of Muslims want to take away the rights of a minority of Christians, that can be done. If a majority of Swiss want to take away the rights of a minority of people who want to built Minarets on their own property, that can also be done. Democracy's primary pitfall is that the minority can be, and often is, wrongfully stomped upon. We should bear this in mind here in America, where similar situations of injustice arise, so that we can act appropriately to NOT make the same mistake.

Such as when a majority of straights tell a minority of gays that they can't live free.


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