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Wilders calls for referendum to support ban on minarets

October 16, 2011

By Willem Plasterk

AMSTERDAM – Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders has called for a referendum to support a ban on minarets.

After a referendum in Switzerland in November 2009, a constitutional amendment banning the construction of new minarets was approved.

Wilders’ argument is that if the Swiss did it, the it can also be done here.

It is the second time Wilders has demanded a referendum having made another call in 2009 in a reaction to the Swiss plebiscite.

In a reaction to Wilders’ call, Labor party leader Job Cohen stated he does not support this proposal since he values freedom of religion.

Similar statements have been made by the Swiss Federal commission against Racism, which claims that the initiative violates religious freedom and defames Muslims.

But Wilders  says the ban on the construction minarets has no relation to the freedom of religion as minarets are considered a dominance symbol for Islam.

The PVV is not the only foreign party to agree with the Swiss ban.

The Freedom Party of Austria proposed a similar ban Austria.

Filip Dewinter of Belgium’s Vlaams Belang said “it is a signal that they have to adapt to our way of life and not the other way around.”

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