It started with head-scarves and like swine-flu, its spreading. Yesterday the Swiss voted to ban minarets and nobody knows what will be targeted next. This is abrupt unexplainable departure from liberal views of Europe and western countries for centuries and some are rightly questioning weather is this not going to be history which is repeating again. Europe was awash with intolerance and hatred in the middle ages and its correct that more blood was shed among Christians in differing sects than the later religious wars. Maybe Europe and western countries in general are becoming victims of their own success.
Here in Maldives we shall be concerned about these issues simply because of our dependence on tourism which is actually more likely to be affected by mood swings of Europe in the short term than global warming or antarctic ice meltdown which is more hype than reality. The way to address the issue is through activism and engaging racism at each and every avenue and not lying down hoping the storm will pass over our heads. The issue is about human forgetfulness and its a failing that can be addressed by reminding. Those who argue against Islamic symbols shall be reminded that they claim to be champions of democracy and personal freedom. Europe became what it is by being free and fair and respectful of other cultures or at-least being seen to be so. However these values are slowly being slowly eroded by newer evils and the pace is getting quicker. Not only is Islam under the knife. Every belief system and values system is being slowly tested and its true that Muslim values are taking the brunt of the attack.
Coming back to the the minaret issue, those who argued in favour of the ban said the minaret looks like missiles and they are against the symbolism of the minarets. It should have been more helpful if they targeted real missiles which their country exports to other countries rather than harmless useless structures adjacent to places of prayer and worship.