Cards on the table. I don't much care for Islam. Neither do I much care for Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or any other religion. They are all vessels for the perpetuation of bigotry, hatred, intolerance and control.
You can keep them. You can follow them, don't expect me to. Don't try and force it down my throat. Keep it to yourself.
I have no problem with the Swiss banning the construction of minarets, just as I would have no problem with the Swiss banning the construction of church towers with bells. If I had a problem with it I'd not go to Switzerland and I'd probably boycott toblerone and Swiss army knives.
I do enjoy playing Football Manager. I wonder if I would be allowed to rig a PA system that sent out a call for the faithful to come to play whenever I booted it up? No? Didn't think so. If people follow a religion, they tend to know when the services are, so probably don't need bells and wailing to summon them. For those who don't follow the religion, bells and wailing are just an annoyance - noise pollution.
Note that the Swiss have not banned the construction of Mosques, nor have they banned the practice of the religion, they just don't want the minarets. Well, it is their country and their decision to make.
The politicians, even in Switzerland, don't like it. The conspiracy theorist in me (who is starting to grow) thinks that it is not because it hurts the poor old Muslims, it is because politicians are uneasy with the idea of the public ushering in arbitrary and ridiculous bans. That is the job of the government, councils and un-elected officials.
Of course, they can't couch it in those terms, so they have to attack from a different angle:
A decision by Swiss voters to ban the construction of minarets poses a risk to Switzerland's security, the country's foreign minister says.
Micheline Calmy-Rey said the Swiss government was "very concerned" about the ban, adopted by voters on Sunday. "Each limitation on the co-existence of different cultures and religions also endangers our security," she told the European security body, the OSCE. "Provocation risks triggering other provocation and risks inflaming extremism," Mrs Calmy-Rey said at the OSCE meeting in Athens.
I wasn't aware that extremism was a problem in Switzerland. No matter, the people have spoken, and that must be challenged because they are endangering their own national security, according to some woman who looks a bit like her from Swing Out Sister.
The UN has waded in as well:
This is the same UN that passed a resolution banning any criticism of Islam. They didn't do this for any other religion. You were talking about discrimination? How is this at odds with international legal obligations? Are we obliged to allow the construction of minarets in Western Europe?
A top UN official has called the ban "clearly discriminatory".
Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the ban was "deeply divisive" and at odds with Switzerland's international legal obligations.
If so, how will an application for planning permission for a pretty little Saxon church in downtown Riyadh be received? Will the Iranians allow the construction of a reproduction of Salisbury Cathedral in Tehran? No. Didn't think so. It cuts both ways.
And then the Muslim leaders:
Muslim leaders across the world, as well as those of other faiths, criticised the minaret ban as a blow to religious freedom.
What's the phrase? 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.' I think that's the one.
More from Micheline Calmy-Rey:
She said if an appeal against the referendum was lodged at the European Court of Human Rights, it would be up to the court to decide on its legality.
Up until such time as a referendum from the Swiss people tells the ECHR to go stick its head in a pig.