Swiss voters go to the polls on November 29 to decide the fate of a referendum to ban the construction of minarets, the tower-like structures on mosques that are often used to call Muslims to prayer. The initiative is being promoted by the conservative Swiss People's Party (SVP), which argues that a minaret is a symbol of Islamic intolerance.
The SVP, which also happens to be one of the strongest political parties in Switzerland, says the minaret is really an emblem of war. It describes the minaret as a "symbol of a religious-political claim to power and dominance which threatens — in the name of alleged freedom of religion — the constitutional rights of others."
To support its position, the SVP cites a famous remark by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who once implied that the construction of mosques and minarets is part of a strategy for the Islamization of Europe. The pro-Islamic Erdogan said: "The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks and the faithful our army."