Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan -- whose visa was formerly revoked by the State Department in 2004 -- has returned to the United States for a series of lectures.
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In November, Switzerland voted to ban the construction of new minarets, the towerlike structures that adorn mosques. A week or so later, in an apparen...
Switzerland's Muslims can remain silent and continue to be marginalized or they can involve themselves in government policy and the media to shape their future.
To ban an architectural form that scares you is a thing of prehistoric naiveté.The shortsightedness of the anti-minaret campaign is fueled by more than fear. It is fueled by hate.
How can European Muslims really integrate when European laws such as this Swiss minaret law and the ban of the burqa in France make it so difficult for them to even pretend to be equal citizens?
Beneath the surface is a greater issue than architecture. Peace will only come when Westerners and Muslims alike understand that religious freedom is at the core of their spiritual beliefs.
The Swiss minaret ban, like some other European countries' policies, highlights a failure of Western liberalism and raises fundamental questions about religious discrimination and freedom of religion.
The recent vote by the people of Switzerland to ban minarets is at best misguided, at worst downright racism. Architecture is a political act. What, where and how we build is affected by politics, but this is beyond the pale.
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