Minaret construction is an exhibition of political power spearheaded by Islamists. These “towers” are simply aggressive symbols of fanatic defying power.

by Dr. Sami Alrabaa, FaithFeedom.org, December 4, 2009

In a national referendum last Sunday (November 29, 2009), the Swiss people voted in favor of a ban on the construction of minarets all over Switzerland. A majority of more than 57 percent approved of the ban. Twenty-two of the country’s 26 cantons voted in favor of the ban.

The vote was described as a “catastrophe” by Islam apologists and Islamism backers. Some media commentators and politicians spearheaded by the Green Party condemned the ban as a “right-wing” vote and alleged that it goes against religion freedom.

The truth of the matter is the Swiss across the political spectrum voted in favor of the ban, not only right-wingers. It is also true that the Swiss and the rest of the world are not against Muslims practicing their own religion in peace like all followers of other religions.

It is also true that unlike Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Turkey, for instance, Switzerland and the rest of the world allow Muslims to build their own mosques. For example, there are more than 2,700 mosques for 3.5 million Muslims all over Germany.

It is also true that huge lavish mosques funded by petrodollars are being constructed to prove that Islam is omnipresent everywhere and Islam – the best religion on earth! – is increasingly being accepted and practiced all over the world.

In addition, most of Arab and Muslim states favor Islam because it is a repressive instrument of governance. Islam is against democracy, against formation of political parties, and supports traditional rulers.

If, however, people around the globe, especially in the West, read the Koran and Hadith and realize how this religion incites to hatred and violence against non-Muslims, and discrimination against women, they would classify it as an extremist ideology, as politically incorrect and demand banning it like all extremist organizations. Check out “Is Islam a Violent Faith?” and “Women in Hadith.”

Nevertheless, the world community, including Switzerland, accepts Islam as a “religion” and allows its followers to practice it under the principle of religious freedom.

If the world knew how my fellow Arabs and Muslims think and act, they (the world) would understand Arab politics and Islam better and act accordingly.

For example, it is permissible/legal in Islam to cheat non-Muslims. Numerous Saudi and Egyptian religious leaders have issued fatwas supporting this tenet and practice. The German weekly, Der Spiegel (October 26, 2009) reported that many rich Muslims get costly medical treatment in Germany and leave without paying.

Sadly, both the majority of Muslims and the majority of Westerners have not thoroughly and carefully read the Koran and Hadith and hence are unaware of all those numerous atrocious passages that incite to hatred, discrimination, and violence, which drive many suicide and car bombers to kill themselves and murder innocent people.

The West sees only the façade and not what is behind it. Even President Obama calls Islam a “tolerant religion” and Al Azhar University, which breeds bigots, a “torch of enlightenment.”

I recently toured the Middle East. I thought that my fellow Arabs and Muslims have changed, at least a bit, becoming more positive, but I found I was wrong. They still expose piety and practice evil. They pray five times a day. Afterwards they lie and cheat. They also believe, Allah forgives their sins because they are Muslims, “the only true believers on earth.” In one word, religion/Islam is a mask!

The media and political discourse has not changed for ages in the Muslim world. While the media and politicians blame the West for the misery in their societies, they report about filth and corruption everywhere in the Arab/Muslim world. People at all levels lie and twist facts. Instead of taking action, regardless how little it is, they sit on the filth idle and lament their “bad luck.”

Instead of urging people to work and instead of urging petrodollar sheikhs to invest in development programs, chaplains and political commentators entertain their audiences with old concocted tales on how “just” and “humane” old Muslims were.

It is a common wise international practice that before new members join an organization or community, like the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the European Union, for instance, they have to comply with certain conditions. The same, I believe, should apply to Muslim states.

Before the West accepts Islam as a religion it must demand that Muslim states reform Islam; accept/apply universal human rights and religious freedom in their societies.

Islam (Koran+Hadith= Sharia) still in the 21st century urges men to lock up their women until death if they are not obedient. The Koran incites Muslim to kill infidels (Christians+Jews). A “religion” that preaches such atrocious things and many more is absolutely not entitled to freedom of religion.

Very few brave Arab/Muslim writers have welcomed the Swiss ban on the construction of minarets. The Kuwaiti columnist, Mohammed Al Saleh writes in the daily Al Qabas, Muslims do not need sky-scraper-high minarets to pray. They can pray anywhere if they are really honest and pious. Nidhal Na’eesa, writing for an Arabic blog, Modern Discussion, wonders what Muslims in Switzerland want? Do they want to have a Muslim society like the ones they fled, societies that do not respect religious freedom, societies that discriminate against non-Muslims and women? Na’eesa also wonders what have all those countless minarets in the Muslim world achieved. They only shed their shadow on misery and backwardness. He urges those who demand minarets in the West to rather invest the money in development projects in the Muslim world. He suggests that instead of minarets we need in the Muslim world factory chimneys.

Minaret construction is an exhibition of political power spearheaded by Islamists. These “towers” are simply aggressive symbols of fanatic defying power.

Besides, where have all those apologists who blast the Swiss decision been when Switzerland harbored all those tax-dodgers, Muslim dictators and their petrodollars? Where are all those religion-freedom advocates vis-à-vis religious persecution of non-Muslims in Muslim societies? Why don’t they protest against lack of religious freedom and lack of freedom of speech in Muslim states? Why don’t they speak up against hatred, discrimination, violence in Islam, in theory and practice?

Five thousand Iraqi Christians have recently found refuge in Germany. They were persecuted in their home country by fellow Muslim citizens. Neither German politicians nor the media dared to criticize this barbaric act. But when a veiled Muslim woman is killed, politicians and the media protest loudly and depict it as a crime motivated by hatred and discrimination against Islam and Muslims.

Islamists can rest assured that their fight for religious and political gains is supported by Western apologists, a boisterous minority. But when it comes to referendum, the majority in the Western world would also reject Islam as a stone-age “religion.” I am pretty sure that if the Swiss referendum were held in other European countries, the majority would also vote in favor of banning the construction of minarets. The European public is better informed than their self-appointed defenders of Islam.

I took to the street and interviewed, with some of my former students, over 500 German people, young and old. We asked them if they supported or rejected the ban on the construction of minarets. Over 70 percent of the interviewees favored the ban.

If the Germans, the Swiss, and all the other Europeans learned about all those fiery preaches held in Turkish and Arabic in mosques against Christians, Jews, and the constitution in the name of Islam, they would absolutely support any ban on the construction of mosques and minarets with a greater majority. Hatred, discrimination, and violence have nothing to do with religious freedom.

Preaching hatred and violence must be banned and their perpetrators must be punished. Additionally, the free civilized world must demand from Muslims and their religious institutions and states: Drop all those atrocious passages from your Koran and Hadith if you want to be part of the civilized world.

Opponents of the Swiss ban threaten to go to the European Court of Justice. This court might rule in their favor. But the reality on the ground remains the same. People are scared of Islam in theory and practice. Both Islamic scriptures and imams preach, day in day out, hatred, discrimination, and violence.

Minaret construction has nothing to do with freedom of religion. It is a symbol of bigotry.
Dr. Sami Alrabaa, an ex-Muslim, is a professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim specialist. He has taught at Kuwait University, King Saud University, and Michigan State University. He also writes for the Jerusalem Post.