CAIRO, DECEMBER 9 - The Egyptian parliament will be carrying out a scientific research to prove that mosque minarets, which a recent Swiss referendum okayed their ban, are important to Muslims, MENA reported. The religious affairs committee of the Peoples Assembly has been assigned with the job: to issue a statement to be delivered as a letter to the presidents of the Swiss parliament, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, protesting the outcome of the poll. Ahmed Fathi Sorour, the speaker of the Peoplés Assembly, said the Swiss government and parliament were against the referendum, whose results came to reflect a growing sense of Islamophobia in the European country.I started laughing helplessly when I read this. They are important to Muslims? D’oh. Yes they are. They are also important to other people, you doofus. They are also important to the construction industry, the broadcasting industry, the academic industry and and and. And just what scientific research will be carried out? On what basis? What fun, what stupidity, lol. I am firmly of the belief that the greatest danger to Islam is not from the crusaders, zionists or the west, but it is from their own leaders, politicians and religious leaders such as these dorks mentioned above.
On a separate note, did you know that the chap who is the architect of the Swiss referendum is a Turkish Muslim, I quote:
One of the architects of the controversial Swiss referendum that resulted in a ban on the construction of minarets has a Turkish heritage, daily Milliyet reported on Wednesday. Born in the Aegean province of Izmir to a Turkish father and a Swiss mother, Soli Pardos family moved to Switzerland when he was 5 years old, the daily said. Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets on November 29, barring construction of the iconic mosque towers in a surprise vote 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.So here we go, official confirmation from Switzerland, there is no connection between Islam and Muslims and Minarets, lol. So what then is the official position? An interesting op-ed from a Professor in Islamic Art History from Arab News can help. I quote the relevant bits here, but do read the full piece:
The referendum by the nationalist Swiss Peoplés Party, or SVP, labeled minarets as symbols of rising Muslim political power that could one day transform Switzerland into an Islamic nation. Pardo also said minarets are used as symbols in Europe, but added: I do not have any reactions against Muslims, and I do not accept that there is Islamaphobia in Switzerland.
Pardo, who is the leader of the Geneva Canton for the SVP, said his father was a small-scale industrialist and passed away in 1976 when Pardo was 21. Regarding the referendum, he said: We do not believe that the minarets are linked to worship because no calls to prayer are made from the minarets. We are not against building mosques but against 5- to 6-meter-tall minarets. The initiative was approved 57.5 to 42.5% by some 2.67 million voters.
Minarets were introduced in the process of conquest such as in the earliest surviving imperial mosque — the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus — in the beginning of the 8th century. Minarets were in this case an appropriation of a Byzantine church’s bell towers.It's curious, and before I finish this, I thought of looking around the OIC and how they react to the presence of other religions. Whether we are talking about Mauritania, Iran, Iraq, Turkey or Egypt etc. etc. they all have much bigger problems with other religions. So it's a spot of major hypocrisy for them to moan about Switzerland. Then again, its Switzerland who should be ashamed of lowering themselves to the abysmal standards that the OIC hold themselves to. Esphoks.
Slowly minarets became one of the elements asserting the grandeur and influence of big mosques financed by the early Islamic states, notably between the 8th and the 10th centuries. The Damascus Mosque’s minarets seem to have been imitated later in the 10th century when the rulers of Andalusian Cordoba were aspiring to rival the major Islamic eastern caliphates. The helicoidal 9th century minarets in the mosques of the Abbasid city of Samarra, which are the largest mosques in pre-modern history, seem to have been imitated in Egypt in the same century. Yet minarets were not a constant element. In the eastern Islamic lands, especially within the Persian space, minarets seem to play a minor role. At some point in the 14th century minarets in Iran were simply decorative accessories for huge portals with big domes in the background.
It is probably with the Turkic dynasties, culminating with the Ottomans since the 15th century, that minarets would be equated with Islamic images in the Western European imaginaire. It has been widely reported in the European travelogues that one of the first acts of Ottomans after conquering Constantinople in 1453 was the insertion of a minaret at one of the corners of the Byzantine church of Haghia Sophia. In fact, the Ottomans seemed to have used the minaret as one of the elements to visually appropriate conquered Byzantine churches and convert them to mosques. They tended also to build monumental minarets, sometimes four, in their new mosques.
Whatever its meaning in the premodern era, the minaret’s signification seems to have been reshaped starting from the end of the 19th century.