Our Beacon Forum

Qaddafi Calls for Jihad on Swiss
By:Linda Islam
Date: Saturday, 27 February 2010, 2:08 pm

Qaddafi Calls for Jihad on Swiss for Minaret Ban

Friday , February 26, 2010

AP

TRIPOLI, Libya —
Libya's leader called for a jihad, or holy war, against Switzerland on Thursday because of its ban on mosque minarets — escalating a long-running diplomatic feud between the two countries.

Muammar Qaddafi also urged Muslims everywhere to boycott Swiss products and to bar Swiss planes and ships from the airports or seaports of Muslim nations.

"Those who destroy God's mosques deserve to be attacked through jihad, and if Switzerland was on our borders, we would fight it," Qaddafi was quoted by Libya's official news agency JANA as saying. He spoke before a gathering marking the birthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Lars Knuchel declined to comment on Qaddafi's call for a holy war against the neutral Alpine republic.

In November, Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets, in a controversial decision that put Switzerland at the forefront of a European backlash against a growing Muslim population.

Muslim groups in Switzerland and abroad condemned the vote as biased and anti-Islamic and business groups warned that the decision could damage relations with Muslim nations and wealthy Islamic investors who bank, travel and shop there.

Any Muslims who deal with Switzerland are "apostates," Qaddafi added.

Muslims comprise about 6 percent of Switzerland' s 7.5 million people. Many are refugees from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and about one in 10 actively practices the religion, the government says.

Anxieties about growing Muslim minorities have rippled across Europe in recent years, leading to legal changes in some countries. France has banned headscarves in schools and is considering legislation to ban head-to-toe coverings for women. Some German states have introduced bans on head scarves for Muslim women teaching in public schools.

But the Swiss ban on minarets was one of the most extreme reactions.

Relations between Libya and Switzerland turned icy after Qaddafi's son, Hannibal, and his wife were arrested in a luxury hotel in Geneva in 2008 for allegedly beating up their servants.

Qaddafi was released after two days, but Libya retaliated by recalling diplomats from Switzerland, taking its money out of Swiss vaults and interrupting oil shipments to the Swiss.

In 2009, former Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz apologized in Libya and agreed to possible compensation claims. But Switzerland backed out of the deal after two Swiss businessman were blocked from leaving Libya. One left earlier this week after more than 19 months in the Swiss Embassy in Tripoli. The other has been convicted of violating residency laws and remains in Libyan custody.

Earlier this month, Tripoli responded to a Swiss travel ban on Qaddafi, his family and ministers by banning citizens of 25 European countries from traveling to Libya.

The visa restrictions threatened lucrative work for Europeans in Libya's booming oil and gas industries, but mediation from Italy and Spain has eased the constraints.

To: History Islam
Sent: Sun, October 25, 2009 1:46:59 PM
Subject: Swiss vote on allowing minarets at mosques

Mail Online

Zurich gives go-ahead to poster with 'racist image of Islam' ahead of Swiss vote on allowing minarets at mosques

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 10:49 PM on 08th October 2009

Zurich city council said yesterday that a poster showing missile-like minarets on a Swiss flag can be displayed ahead of a national referendum on whether to ban the building of minarets at mosques in Switzerland.

Zurich followed Lucerne and Geneva in arguing that the posters, which also feature a veiled woman with 'menacing eyes', were protected by free speech.

Basel and Lausanne have banned them saying they paint a 'racist, disrespectful and dangerous image' of Islam.

The posters, which urge a ban on the building of minarets, are part of a campaign by the nationalist Swiss People's Party.
'Dangerous': This poster, which shows a woman in a burka and a Swiss flag with minarets that resemble missiles springing out of it, is being used by the rightwing People's Party (SVP) in its anti-minaret campaign

'Dangerous': This poster, which shows a woman in a burka and a Swiss flag with minarets that resemble missiles springing out of it, is being used by the rightwing People's Party (SVP) in its anti-minaret campaign

Zurich city council said it disapproved of the posters - which also feature a veiled woman with what could be seen as menacing eyes - because they portrayed Islam as 'threatening, negative and dangerous'.

But officials said the posters had to be accepted as part of political free speech in the run-up to the November 29 vote.

The Swiss Federal Commission Against Racism said yesterday it viewed the billboards as an attack on all Muslims in Switzerland.

'This is a further step toward a dangerous polarization of the political debate,' the commission said.

The posters argue that the construction of new minarets should be banned because they are a symbol of Islamic political conquest rather than religious freedom.

So far, there are four minarets in Switzerland.

A poll published today in Zurich daily Tages-Anzeiger showed 51.3 per cent of those questioned said they would reject the proposed ban.

Some 34.9 per cent of voters supported the proposal, while 13.7 per cent were undecided.

The random survey by Swiss-based pollsters Isopublic was conducted among 1,007 eligible voters in the German- and French-speaking parts of Switzerland. The margin of error was given as 3.2 per cent.
A view of what minarets actually look like, at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul (file photo)

A view of what minarets actually look like, at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul (file photo)

Henri-Maxime Khedoud, a Geneva resident and spokesman for the Swiss Association of Secular Muslims, said the posters were an attempt to play on voters' fear of Islam.

'They give the impression that we are trying to impose sharia law like in Saudi Arabia, but this is not true,' he said. 'Most Muslims in Switzerland come from Europe.'

The Alpine country saw a large influx of Muslim refugees from former Yugoslavia during the 1990s, and now has over 310,000 Muslim residents, or about four per cent of the population - more than in Britain, where Muslims form 2.7 per cent of the population, according to a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion.

Khedoud said Switzerland' s Muslims were most concerned about everyday racism, not a lack of minarets. 'The problem for us is integration and finding work for our children,' he said.

Nevertheless, the association plans to sue the People's Party ahead of the vote, Khedoud said.

The party caused an international outcry two years ago with a poster showing white sheep kicking a black sheep off a Swiss flag.

The posters were part of a campaign to deport criminal foreigners, including minors and their families.

A vote on that proposal has yet to be scheduled.

Read more: http://www.dailymai l.co.uk/news/ worldnews/ article-1219048/ Zurich-approves- poster-racist- image-Islam- ahead-Swiss- vote-allowing- minarets- mosques.html# ixzz0UyywUbRQ

Messages In This Thread

Qaddafi Calls for Jihad on Swiss
Linda Islam -- Saturday, 27 February 2010, 2:08 pm
Re: Qaddafi Calls for Jihad on Swiss
Dr Shabbir -- Saturday, 27 February 2010, 3:32 pm