On last sunday, the Swiss people could vote on a draft on prohibiting the construction of minarets. Surveys before the poll had not seen a majority, but a clear majority of 57.5% voted in favour of it (see exact results in this illustration). Only four cantons voted against the draft, all others in favour of it.
This is a black day for all people, who are advocating a cosmopolitan and liberal Switzerland. And the right-polulist party SVP is celebrating a campaign victory after a series of failed campaigns (Schengen Agreement, freedom of movement and residence). The consequences of this ballot are hard to foresee, but the Swiss reputation abroad will surely not profit from that.
The main reason for this ballot surely is a feeling of uncertainty. It is not xenophobia but rather the sentiment, that the government is not taking action against the negative excrescences if Islam, against headscarves, the Sharia and forced marriages. The minarets are a symbol, prohibiting their construction will not have a negative impact on the few extremist Islamic groups, but rather fan their wrath on Western culture. The prohibition rather hurts the big majority of peacefully-living Muslims, who may feel threatened in their way of living according to their religion. Because the prohibition of minarets may just be the beginning.