Posts Tagged ‘Switzerland’

Switzerland Defends Ban on Mosque Minarets

December 1, 2009

Monday , November 30, 2009

Switzerland says the country’s new ban on the building of minarets is not aimed at Muslims but at Islamic fundamentalism.

Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf says her country supports religious freedoms.

She says Sunday’s referendum, during which voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets, was not “a referendum against Islam … but a vote directed against fundamentalist developments.”

Widmer-Schlumpf spoke on arrival Monday at a meeting with EU justice ministers. Switzerland is not an EU member but has close and regular contacts with the EU.

Swiss voters support barring construction of the iconic mosque towers in a surprise vote that put Switzerland at the forefront of a European backlash against a growing Muslim population.

Muslim groups in Switzerland and abroad condemned the vote as biased and anti-Islamic. Business groups said the decision hurt Switzerland’s international standing and could damage relations with Muslim nations and wealthy investors who bank, travel and shop there.

“The Swiss have failed to give a clear signal for diversity, freedom of religion and human rights,” said Omar Al-Rawi, integration representative of the Islamic Denomination in Austria, which said its reaction was “grief and deep disappointment.”

The referendum by the nationalist Swiss People’s Party labeled minarets as symbols of rising Muslim political power that could one day transform Switzerland into an Islamic nation. The initiative was approved 57.5 to 42.5 percent by some 2.67 million voters. Only four of the 26 cantons or states opposed the initiative, granting the double approval that makes it part of the Swiss constitution.

Muslims comprise about 6 percent of Switzerland’s 7.5 million people. Many are refugees from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and about one in 10 actively practices their religion, the government says.

The country’s four standing minarets, which won’t be affected by the ban, do not traditionally broadcast the call to prayer outside their own buildings.

The sponsors of the initiative provoked complaints of bias from local officials and human-rights group with campaign posters that showed minarets rising like missiles from the Swiss flag next to a fully veiled woman. Backers said the growing Muslim population was straining the country “because Muslims don’t just practice religion.”

“The minaret is a sign of political power and demand, comparable with whole-body covering by the burqa, tolerance of forced marriage and genital mutilation of girls,” the sponsors said. They noted that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has compared mosques to Islam’s military barracks and called “the minarets our bayonets.”

Anxieties about growing Muslim minorities have rippled across Europe in recent years, leading to legal changes in some countries. There have been French moves to ban the full-length body covering known as the burqa. Some German states have introduced bans on head scarves for Muslim women teaching in public schools. Mosques and minaret construction projects in Sweden, France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Germany and Slovenia have been met by protests.

But the Swiss ban in minarets, sponsored by the country’s largest political party, was one of the most extreme reactions.

“It’s a sad day for freedom of religion,” said Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a British youth organization. “A constitutional amendment that’s targeted towards one religious community is discriminatory and abhorrent.”

He said he was concerned the decision could have reverberations in other European countries.

Amnesty International said the vote violated freedom of religion and would probably be overturned by the Swiss supreme court or the European Court of Human Rights.

The seven-member Cabinet that heads the Swiss government had spoken out strongly against the initiative but the government said it accepted the vote and would impose an immediate ban on minaret construction.

It said that “Muslims in Switzerland are able to practice their religion alone or in community with others, and live according to their beliefs just as before.” It took the unusual step of issuing its press release in Arabic as well as German, French, Italian and English.

Sunday’s results stood in stark contrast to opinion polls, last taken 10 days ago, that showed 37 percent supporting the proposal. Experts said before the vote that they feared Swiss had pretended during the polling that they opposed the ban because they didn’t want to appear intolerant.

“The sponsors of the ban have achieved something everyone wanted to prevent, and that is to influence and change the relations to Muslims and their social integration in a negative way,” said Taner Hatipoglu, president of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Zurich. “Muslims indeed will not feel safe anymore.”

The People’s Party has campaigned mainly unsuccessfully in previous years against immigrants with campaign posters showing white sheep kicking a black sheep off the Swiss flag and another with brown hands grabbing eagerly for Swiss passports.

Geneva’s main mosque was vandalized Thursday when someone threw a pot of pink paint at the entrance. Earlier this month, a vehicle with a loudspeaker drove through the area imitating a muezzin’s call to prayer, and vandals damaged a mosaic when they threw cobblestones at the building.

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The Mad Scientists

September 15, 2008

 

 

 

 

Uh -, oh – ; the mad scientists are at it again! In their determination to extract nature’s secrets, scientists built a machine so powerful it has raised fears that it might cause the end of the world as we know it.

Enormous sums of money were flowing into this latest project, the so-called “Large Hadron Collider” (LHC) of the international research center CERN. Scientists ask themselves: “What was at the beginning of everything? And how does our universe work?”

They obviously don’t believe that there is a creator. They think that a “Big Bang” created our universe, and are trying to find out what could have happened before the “Big Bang”?

The “Big Bang” is a theory in which the universe supposedly has been expanding for around 13.7 billion years, starting from a tremendously dense and hot state.

So these scientists built a machine to answer that question. CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is supposed to determine the nature of subatomic particles that are thought to have last been seen at the big event 10 billion to 15 billion years ago that led to the formation of the universe. They think that the energy of the collision will reproduce conditions that existed a moment after the “Big Bang” created the universe 14 billion years ago. But of course no one can predict what will happen next.

Discarding the Bible, scientists – people with a degree from a university – spent SFr 6 billion ($5.95 billion) to build this accelerator to “unlock the mystery of creation”.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a giant particle accelerator at the Swiss-French border, stretching for 27 km (17 miles) in a circular tunnel, 100 meters underground. This LHC tunnel runs between Lake Geneva and the Jura mountain range and generates temperatures colder than deep space. It has been in construction for 15 years.

The scientists use this collider to explore the make-up of “dark matter” – the invisible mass of energy – that is believed to make up 96% of the universe. Guided by huge magnets, two proton beams spin around the tunnel in opposite directions until they reach a velocity fractionally below the speed of light.

Last week the accelerator smashed particles together at high speeds within that tunnel. Circling the 27 km ring more than 11,000 times a second, they were narrowed to a point less than half the width of a human hair and smashed into each other. A minuscule nut was designed to crack the proton, the heart of the atom. With it, scientists hope to recreate the conditions which existed after the Big Bang theory.

Professor Jos Engelen, CERN’s chief scientific officer, admitted that he didn’t know what the full impact the results of the experiment will be.

What arrogance of men to question the existence of the Almighty!

Although at the CERN research center experiments have been carried out since the sixties on small particle acceleration with similar atomic crash tests, such a huge big-bang machine has never been implemented before. Firstly, so much energy is set free that tiny black holes could emerge at the collision points. An unsettling vision: in the X-Large-Version in outer space, black holes slurp up everything (even light) in their radius like giant space waste chutes. Will the end of mankind be a self-constructed black mini-hole?

And so today’s mad scientists created an artificial black hole, hunting for that hypothetical particle — the “Higgs boson” — which is sometimes called the “God particle” because it is believed to give mass to all other particles of the dark matter and energy of our universe.

Many of us are stunned to learn that even physicists felt worried enough to mull over the possibility that a new machine might destroy us all!

Even a group of 40 Israeli scientists joined the recreation of the Big Bang in this LHC-machine in Switzerland. They too must think that G-D lied in the Torah when he said that He created the universe.

Of course, there was a Big Bang. There was a BIG BANG when God spoke the universe into its existence!

 “Fools say in their hearts, there is no God.” (Psalms 14:1)