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Opinion Poll Reveals UK Public Open to Minaret Bans

According to a recent poll taken more people in Britain are open to banning minarets than in the United States. (via Islamophobia-Watch)

People in Britain are open to the idea of banning minarets, according to a three-country poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 37 per cent of respondents in Britain would vote in favour of a ban, while 25 per cent would vote against it.

In the United States, 21 per cent of respondents would vote to ban minarets, while 19 per cent disagree. In Canada, 35 per cent of respondents would vote against a ban, while 27 per cent would endorse one.

Angus Reid Global Monitor, 22 December 2009

Cf. Sholto Byrnes’ comments on the New Statesman blog, 21 December 2009

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  • TYO

    Durendal seems to have also been correct in that there is nothing that demands the building of minarets on mosques as the Arab News article and that Saudi article showed. It was added much later:

    “…Other Muslims may differ with Dr. Rasdi’s interpretation of Islamic tradition, but there can be no doubt that while the beautiful adhan clearly dates back to the time of the Prophet, the minaret is certainly a later invention. When Islam was revealed in the early seventh century, Jews called the faithful to prayer with the shofar (ram’s horn) and Christians used a bell or a wooden gong or clacker. Indeed, the sound of a bell wafting in the breeze from a distant monastery is a frequent image in pre-Islamic and early Islamic poetry. In this context, we can well understand how ‘Abd Allah ibn Zayd, one of the Prophet’s companions, dreamt that he saw someone calling the Muslims to prayer from the roof of the mosque. After he told the Prophet about his dream, Muhammad recognized it as a vision from God and instructed Bilal, an Abyssinian freedman and early convert to Islam, “Rise, Bilal, and summon all to prayer!” Bilal, who was known for his beautiful voice, did so, thereby becoming the first muezzin. (The word muezzin comes from the Arabic mu’adhdhin, or “one who gives the adhan.”)

    According to Islamic tradition, Bilal and his successors normally gave the call to prayer from a high or public place, such as the doorway or roof of a mosque, an elevated neighboring structure or even the city wall, but never from a tall tower. Indeed, it is said that ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Prophet’s cousin, son-in-law and fourth caliph, ordered a tall mi’dhana (a place from which the call to prayer was given) torn down, because its height enabled the muezzin to see into the homes around the mosque. The call to prayer, ‘Ali believed, should not be given from any place higher than the roof of the mosque…” http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200202/the.minaret-symbol.of.faith.power.htm

    “…But what is perceived now as exclusively Islamic minarets are in fact inherently pre-Islamic, notably Christian. 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.

    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…” http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=129448&d=12&m=12&y=2009

    This is why discussion should be civil. Just because someone has a different opinion from someone else doesn’t mean it is wrong. Wrong or right, civil discussion should be maintained throughout.

  • Nabeela

    Durendal said:-

    “Some non-Muslims feel intimidated by the impressive large penis like structures ”

    and the Times article said:-

    “where women are more likely than men to vote for the ban after warnings from prominent feminists”
    and
    “said Julia Werner, a local housewife. “Before you know it, we’ll have sharia law and women being stoned to death in our streets. We won’t be Swiss any more.”

    H’mmmmmmm, seeks like Durendal isn’t so far off the mark;) It does appear that the penis seems to be the real culprit here 😉

    LOL

  • AF

    “If we give them a minaret, they’ll have us all wearing burqas,”
    —————

    If i eat an apple today, i could morph into a velociraptor tomorrow.

    That swiss’s housewife sentence just makes that much sense.

    People are driven mostly by their emotions and not their brain when they are flooded with fear-mongering propaganda. Only shield for that fear-mongering is knowledge. Once you stop being ignorant about something, your mind stop tricking you with nightmarish images.

  • nat

    Bahaha, that quote from the Swiss housewife is gold. Minarets today, public stonings (of women only?!) tomorrow.

    If it makes her feel any better, we Muslims promise to stone men also. Hey, who said Muslims weren’t flexible.

    Man, people are nuts.

  • TYO

    Question about minarets. Are they only used for mosques? Can other building have minarets such as tombs or mausoleums in Islam?

  • TYO

    Interestingly, it was Swiss women who were more likely to want the ban than the men. Here is another underlying fear that the Muslim population should work with non-Muslims to address.

    “A right-wing campaign to outlaw minarets on mosques in a referendum being held in Switzerland today has received an unlikely boost from radical feminists arguing that the tower-like structures are “male power symbols” and reminders of Islam’s oppression of women.

    A “stop the minarets” campaign has provoked ferment in the land of Heidi, where women are more likely than men to vote for the ban after warnings from prominent feminists that Islam threatens their rights…“If we give them a minaret, they’ll have us all wearing burqas,” said Julia Werner, a local housewife. “Before you know it, we’ll have sharia law and women being stoned to death in our streets. We won’t be Swiss any more.” ” http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6936267.ece

  • TYO

    This are three interesting links about minarets in Islam and the Swiss controversy – one from Arab News and another from The Jakarta Post.

    Arab News http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=129448&d=12&m=12&y=2009

    The Jakarta Post http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/12/11/switzerland-muslim-community-and-minarets.html

    Here is a site that goes into the history of this architectural type:
    http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200202/the.minaret-symbol.of.faith.power.htm

    “…But it is not only Christians who have objected to minarets: At certain times and places some Muslims believed—and some still believe—that minarets have no place in the design of mosques. In many parts of the Muslim world—Malaysia, Kashmir and East Africa, for example— tower minarets were virtually unknown before modern times…”

    However, this minaret issue in Switzerland is more than the minaret.

  • Nabeela

    TYO

    Noise pollution wasn’t the subject.

    “Not everyone should have to hear someone else’s religious sounds be it that call to prayer or church bells if they would like not to. If we are all to live together in peace, then respect we should respect our neighbors. It is noise pollution. And that includes church bells: ”

    “Rolls Eyes”

    “Sighs in exasperation”

    Dear TYO…calm down…What Danios probably meant was that you are talking about something wholly unrelated.

    You are talking about BANNING ADHAN (call to prayer) but the article was about Minarets.

    Having a minaret doesn’t mean you have to have Adhan. I doubt many Muslims would want to have Adhan broadcast in public in a non Muslim country, and there is no need anyway in a non Muslim country, when nowadays we have satellite, tv radio, heck even satellite phones can be programmed for Adhan. The modern Muslim has it much easier than our predecessors!!

    Durendal

    What you want to erect just a minaret instead of a mosque? LOL, you’re good for a laugh if nothing else, you poor little misery..maybe that’s the “penis complex” you’re talking about.

    The Swiss didn’t ban the minaret because of what you think, as you will see when the ban is reversed in the near future. It was about arcitechure, and the politician who led it campaigned but the opposition ddidn’t. Had they done so, it wouldve been defeated.

    The opposition will campaign now….see what happens

  • http://luckykiwi.com Alan Ireland

    I find that when the call to prayer rings out almost simultaneously from several mosques in the neighborhood, it becomes impossible to follow. (I remember waking up in Bursa, Turkey, to an incredible cacophony.) Surely, one adhan would suffice for each district of a city. After all, those who want to pray usually know where the nearest mosque is.

  • TYO

    Danios if you have a difference of opinion from me, that is fine, but don’t resort to labeling. We can discuss our differing opinions with civility.

    Not everyone should have to hear someone else’s religious sounds be it that call to prayer or church bells if they would like not to. If we are all to live together in peace, then respect we should respect our neighbors. It is noise pollution. And that includes church bells:

    Noisy church bells silenced by complaints
    A church’s bellringers have been ordered to cut back on practice because the noise is annoying the neighbours.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4324134/Noisy-church-bells-silenced-by-complaints.html

  • Durendal

    @Danios I would be in favor of banning mosques and keeping the minarets instead.

  • iSherif

    Oh God, what’s up with Durendal? Penis complex???? Manhood?????

    Time to reach for the pills son :)

  • Danios

    Durendals post is even more retarded. Minarets are beautiful.

  • Danios

    TYO : your comment is retarded in eighteen different ways

  • Durendal

    I find talk of these bans on minarets absolutely meaningless and the debate for and against it laughable.
    First of all the minaret has no religious significance in Islam , there is nothing which demands the building of these structures.
    Then there is the whole nonsense about how banning there construction would be a breech of the freedom of religion.
    As if minarets haven’t been banned forever for a wide variety of reasons.
    Usually because they are simply ugly or out of place.
    It makes absolutely no sense.
    The Swiss seem to have voted for the ban because they want to stop the creeping Islamisation of their society.
    But you don’t stop that by banning minarets.
    Maybe it’s some kind of penis complex we are witnessing here.
    Some non-Muslims feel intimidated by the impressive large penis like structures and want to get rid of them, while some Muslims feel rejected for their manhood, because they cannot display it to everyone whenever they want.

  • TYO

    I don’t care about the minaret structure. The building shape is not what I think is important. Noise pollution is – no loud speakers shouting the call to pray five times a day every day to everyone in the vicinity. That is way too much. Once in a while is fine (including bells on churches which can be annoying too if done too frequently), but not every day five times a day. That is inconsiderate to other people. Muslims should be considerate enough to other people to be responsible enough to know when they have to pray on their own.

  • AF

    Wow… those are LOW numbers… if they did the same poll here in Italy, people in favor of banning minarets would be like 60% or so. In the North-East part of Italy, where the Northern League is so powerful, the number may rise to 90%. Scary.

  • Nissa

    Not surprising at all…there is a definite growth of the theory that the UK is being ‘Islamified’ (ugh!).
    I love Britain, but there is a current of racism, intolerance and general dislike of anyone even slightly different that people often pretend doesn’t exist but it is very much alive and well.

    Although I think it is getting worse, I think most people would not be OK with banning minarets but saying that there has been a lot of opposition to mosques in general no matter what they look like in recent years from a very loud minority of ‘patriots’.

  • Ustadh

    Thanks for the information. Europe is at an interesting juncture, I thought Britain was far ahead of other European nations when it came to Muslims in their societies. I recall how before the minaret ban in Switzerland, there were similar numbers and people thought it wouldn’t pass.

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