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On 29 November 2009 Swiss voters approved the proposal to introduce a ban on building minarets on Swiss territory into the Federal Constitution. The result surprised large parts of the media and political class.

The most frequently mentioned motive of supporters of the initiative was the wish to give a clear signal against the expansion of Islam and the type of society associated with this religion. The vote’s real objective was not the minaret as such. Rather, the minaret was being turned into a symbol of the issues raised by Islam.

Read The Swiss Minaret Ban: Islam in Question

Edited by Patrick Haenni and Stéphane Lathion

With an Afterword by Olivier Roy



Switzerland without Minarets
Jean-François Mayer

In the Shadow of the Minaret: Origins and Implications of a Citizens’ Initiative
Jean-François Mayer

>>Citizens’ Initiatives in Switzerland
Stéphane Lathion

The Minaret in the History of Islam
Rachid Benzine

>>Islam in Switzerland: Figures
GRIS and Religioscope Institute

Cultural Challenge: Islamic Architecture Crosses into the West
Stéphane Lathion

>>Oskar Freysinger: Let’s Not Be the Victims of Multiculturalism
Patrick Haenni and Stéphane Lathion

The Conquest of the West Will Not Take Place
Patrick Haenni and Samir Amghar

>>Antonio Hodgers: Fundamentalist Criticism of Islam is also Dangerous
Stéphane Lathion

A Minaret Ban in the Federal Constitution?

Erwin Tanner

>>Daniel Zingg: Defending Switzerland’s Christian Roots
Jean-François Mayer

Building Churches in Islamic Lands Today
Laure Guirguis

>>Ender Demirtas: the Initiative is Just the Beginning of a Slippery Slope
Patrick Haenni and Stéphane Lathion

From Minarets to the “Muslim Question”: the New Critique of Islam
Olivier Moos

The Minarets: No Muslim Rage
Husam Tammam

From the Top of the Minaret: Symbols and Social Obliviousness
Olivier Moos and Patrick Haenni

Islam in Europe: an Ordinary Religion Like Any Other
Olivier Roy