Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Europe, Racism

Minaret questions

“The peoples of Europe are welcoming and tolerant: it’s in their nature and in their culture. But they don’t want their way of life, their mode of thinking and their social relations distorted.”

French President NICOLAS SARKOZY, defending Switzerland’s ban on building minarets

That’s what president Nicolas Sarkozy said. I say: But the European will distort the way of life of others, won’t they? The mode of thinking of others, and the social relations of others. And that’s perfectly alright.

Who wants their shit distorted, anyway? Was the African happy when the European launched the colonisation campaign and cut Africa up?

Why is the European scared when Moslems build a prayer house? How many churches did the European erect outside his borders? Do you remember anyone complaining about the spires being too high, too dominating, too distorting. Or was that because even then, the European Christian had the firepower to extinguish any complaints?

The immigrant goes where life is easier and more accessible, when his own mode of existence has been compromised. The coloniser went to other places not because his mode of existence was in jeopardy, nor because life was easier there, but because he wanted to conquer and to exploit and to subdue. Full stop. And he did.

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  1. “Why is the European scared when Moslems build a prayer house? How many churches did the European erect outside his borders? Do you remember anyone complaining about the spires being too high, too dominating, too distorting.”
    -that was powerful…
    .-= Nneoma´s last blog fact, epic fail… =-.

  2. Sokari

    Nneoma@ This ruling is nothing but a blatant anti-Islamic and racist decision. I hope the issue will be taken to the highest court in the country. Unfortunately Switzerland is outside of the EU and evidently a law unto themselves.

  3. The thing about Switzerland is their fondness for referendums, which I believe this was, that led to the decision to disallow minarets. The disadvantage of referendums of this kind is that ordinary people, who on the whole are generally not very well informed, are given the right to make important decisions.

    Its a bit like holding a referendum on EU membership in the UK, where more likely than not the majority will vote against EU membership, whereas the overwhelming evidence is that EU membership is beneficial to the UK. In Ireland, at the first referendum on ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the public was so sure their country should not ratify the Treaty, only for the same public at the second referendum a few months later, (after feeling the effects of a global recession and the relative safety that a powerful Brussels offered them), to make a U-turn on the same question and vote overwhelmingly in favour of ratification.

    Referendums are not a reliable way of making good decisions methinks, and especially so when the issue is of significance. The public are fickle and tend to be swayed by sentiment rather than by sound rational and well-reasoned judgement based on information. With periodic elections, the opportunity to reverse a wrong decision comes along every few years, but this may not necessarily be so in a system that relies overly on referendums as Switzerland does. This is just my view..

  4. Sokari

    @Anengiyefa – A good point but what does this say about the ‘democratic process”? To me it speaks to the problem of how people make informed decisions or more likely the risk of uninformed decisions as possibly in this case – irrational and unfounded fears of the “other” which bear little connection to the reality of their every day lives.

  5. True Sokari. And this is where representative democracy becomes the better method by which to achieve true democracy, that is, on the assumption that the ‘representatives’ are themselves “well informed”.

    What comes to mind straight away is Mr Blair’s ’48 hours WMD threat’, and how this misinformation led to the representatives of the people giving their support, albeit unknowingly, to Blair’s original intention of achieving regime change in Iraq. It is important too that at the time, there was widespread vociferous protest by the people against the decision to go to war, and even from within Mr Blair’s cabinet. However, representative democracy got its way and whether regime change in Iraq at the time was the right thing or not remains to be seen. Lol, this is so extraneous to the Swiss minarets we are supposed to be discussing. I seem to have gone off on a tangent. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Sokari

    @Anengiyefa – It is good sometimes to make these connections and Blair’s decision in the face of mass opposition from the “people” is a case in point. Even more so as he is now saying he would have gone irrespective of WMD – which is actually what he did since it appears “they” all knew there were none. What comes to mind is that leaders / rulers (many are the latter) choose when they wish to listen to the so called “voice of the people” and when to ignore those voices. In the Swiss case they chose to put that to the test knowing the risks where slight whereas in the case of Iraq the voices were ignored. The word “democracy” has been so subverted that it has little meaning or rather it means so many different things to different people! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. @Sokari: when it comes to the “other”, democracy has become a farce in many western countries. Three years ago, a Malian nanny was murdered by an 18 year old man in Antwerp ( he had gone on a kill-all-foreigners shooting rampage). He killed the nanny’s two year old ward ( she was white but hey, she was with a black woman) and injured a few others. Anyway he was sentenced to life imprisonment and the families of the dead awarded compensation. Except, the family of the Malian woman had their compensation blocked/withdrawn by the court because at the time she was killed whe was illegal!!! so not only have they lost a mother and daughter (she had a young child in Mali) but they’ve also lost their major source of income