Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Swiss Vote

This weekend's decision in Switzerland to vote to ban minarets on Muslim mosques scares me.

I just finished the book, "Sarah's Key" about the French roundup of its Jewish citizens in Paris and surrounding towns, in July 1942. The book is amazingly moving and makes you feel the despair of those days by those who were directly affected (additiionally the book is a great read, I finished it in one day, I couldn't put it down, for the first 150 pages it is moving at a rapid speed).

After reading this book and in light of what has happened in Switzerland, I wonder if much in thinking and attitude has really changed in Europe? It seems to me that in some European countries, people have forgotten the lessons of the Holocaust, the evils of intolerance, ignorance, injustice and indifference; given a few adjustments and this time it would be Muslims instead of Jews being rounded up and killed?

fyi - minarets are part of the entire religion, it is the point from where the call to prayer is given.


Blogger shannon said...

I read that book recently, too. I thought it was fantastic, and passed it along to a friend of mine.
Have you read The Book Thief?

I listened to a lot about the Swiss vote yesterday on the radio...sounds like not all the Swiss citizens are as happy about the way the vote went as you'd think, given the outcome. They think it'll be struck down in a Constitutional review.

Not great, but at least there's that. Maybe they're learning a little.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the vote doesn't become law, otherwise we are heading in the direction of another holacaust.
Part of the problem is the fanatic Muslims too. They are not helping the peace loving muslims who want to just have a decent life. I don't see much hope with them changing, except maybe another Messiah showing up and re-training their brians. No world leader realizes it, but poverty and education is the root cause of this craziness. Thanks for keeping us informed.
Keep smiling.


9:26 AM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

i read about the Swiss vote as well and it made me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit. i agree: dangerous intolerance ultimately leads to deadly consequences one way or another. and it's items like this,and scarf-banning in the Netherlands that reminds me that for as much as i love visiting Europe and as much as i think we could learn from a lot of their social systems, they are not the pictures of liberty that many Americans (ie, liberals) like to think they are.
what i love MOST about America is our pan-global heritage, our bill of rights and our first amendment. do we have our share of intolerance, bigotry and racism. absolutely. but at the end of the day, and not always quickly or easily, i think we do a pretty good job of protecting minority rights. to paraphrase MLK: i think America's arc of history bends toward justice. i'm not always convinced that's the case with these old-world countries with homogenous, established cultures - European or otherwise.

12:42 AM  
Blogger mommanator said...

Man this is deep, but I guess we do have to face issues like this. I totally agree with all comments.
I will never be able to fathom why people can't live together in peace, but I guess that was damaged years ago!

7:19 AM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

I hadn't heard about it, but it is frightening. We surely need more tolerance.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Shannon - haven't read the Book Thief, but sounds like I should, thanks!

Austen - I totally agree, the real war should be on poverty, it is this poverty that leads men into these brainwashing camps for terrorists.

Molly - Amen to that sister, while I LOVE Europe, nothing beats the true spirit of America. I have said this over and over again, even when I was in Denmark. Americans don't have all that baggage like I guess Europe does, plus yes we have a strong tenant for protecting minorities. I am proud of that as an American!

Mommantor - can't we all just get along? I sometimes feel like saying : )
Secret Agent - yes more tolerance indeed!

12:13 AM  

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