Has Switzerland become Europe's Heart of Darkness?
This provoking sentence was found in the lead of an article of
THE INDEPENDENT as published on 7 September 2007. Switzerland is under U.N. observation for its occurrences of racism. Commenting recent incidents of discrimination, the Federal Council of Switzerland wrote an official reply to Mr. Diene, UN Special Rapporteur on racism in March this year. However, they also pointed out that the asylum act referred to by the special rapporteur had been approved by the sovereign with a large majority. It was convinced that the implementation of the act would not lead to acts of discrimination.
The Anti-Racism Law of Switzerland
Who publicly calls for hatred or discrimination against a person or group of people because of race, ethnics, or religion;
whoever publicly spreads idiologies that aim systematic libel of the members of a race, ethnic group, or religion, who stimulates, organises or takes part in propaganda action plans;
whoever publicly belittles or discriminates or denies, downplays or justifies out of one of the reasons "genocide or "other crimes against humanity" vocally, written, visually, by gesturing, violence or in any other manner a person or group of people because of their race, ethnics, or religion in a way that is beneath human dignity;
whoever refuses a service which is indended to be for public use, to any person or group of people because of their race, ethnics or religion;
will be charged with emprisonment or fines.
What do Switzerland and the U.S. have in commmon? They reflect "the promised land", garden Eden, and whatever bed of roses that may pop up in the minds of people all over the world who do not know the whole picture about living in Switzerland. Yes, there is the desire to live in peace, freedom, prosperity and in one of the world's most advanced civilizations and democracies. Fact is, Switzerland is much smaller. It consists of numerous little valleys, remote places in 26 cantons (provinces), each one of them with their own culture, identity and even numerous German dialects next to French, Italian and Romansh...The typical Swiss is somewhat cosmopolitan but likes to withdraw to his or her cosy home again after some exposure to foreign cultures.
I am not surprised about the above "Little sheep poster". It is election time. The Swiss peoples' party (SVP) which stirres this campaign that is being noticed as racist by many foreign citizens of this country, is and is expected to be the strongest political party in Switzerland. Either you hate them or love them. Those posters with Bundesrat (minister) Blocher, the SVP representative in the Swiss government, had to be removed. Blocher's face was mistreated completely. The poster with the white sheep kicking out a black sheep 'for security reasons' is more prominent. Every child knows it. Children play using "SVP" or Buh-bad instead of "get out" when another child is not wanted in a group!
This is only the tip of the iceberg. I believe the more the U.N. tries to intervene against racism, the stronger xenophobia in Switzerland will become. We have much to lose, this is what our problem is. Expect more political action plans which will be within the above law. When it comes to Islamic minarets, the whole world will look at Switzerland. How come? The Swiss probably maintain the most advanced democracy in the world. This is the reason why there has started a great discussion about the yes or niet of Islamic minarets in Switzerland. It is sometimes seen as if Swiss christians would build crusaders' fortresses in an Islamic country, and the establishment of parallel Islamic law in Switzerland is feared (Sharia). In the eyes of a commitee against the building of minarets, the building of such towers have nothing to do with integration but with a symbol of Islamic conquest. Expect more from my end or my country about this subject.
Link to the committee: