Switzerland votes to ban new minarets | world | Hindustan Times
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Switzerland votes to ban new minarets

Swiss voters approved on Sunday a ban on new minarets being built, with the success of the far-right initiative causing dismay among the Alpine country’s tiny Muslim community.

world Updated: Dec 01, 2009 02:15 IST

Swiss voters approved on Sunday a ban on new minarets being built, with the success of the far-right initiative causing dismay among the Alpine country’s tiny Muslim community.

The referendum to ban the towers or turrets attached on mosques from where Muslims are traditionally called to prayer was approved by 57.5 per cent of voters who cast ballots and in 22 out of the country’s 26 cantons.

Far-right politicians across Europe celebrated the results, while the Swiss government sought to assure the Muslim minority that a ban on minarets was “not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture.”

The far-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) — Switzerland’s biggest party — had forced a referendum after collecting a mandatory 100,000 signatures from eligible voters within 18 months.