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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 18, 2008 / 15 Tamuz 5768

A Swiss ‘extremist’ against Islamic law

By Diana West


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | THE SWISS ALPS, SWITZERLAND — "Explain the minaret ban," I asked.


I was sitting in the side room of a house, overlooking a flat plot somewhat larger than the trampoline outside. Beyond that trampoline, still visible in the evening light, rose the Swiss Alps. Across the table, Oskar Freysinger sat poised to address my query over some cups of espresso, speaking as a local leader of the Swiss People's Party.


Or perhaps I should say — a local leader of the "extremist," "bigoted" and "xenophobic" Swiss People's Party. That's how this largest political party in tiny Switzerland is routinely discussed, or, rather, dismissed by elites, glitterati and other social deadweights.


Why? Because the Swiss People's Party is, with noticeable success, fighting to bring massive immigration, including Islamic immigration, under control in Switzerland before this rigidly neutral, quite independent, non-European Union country loses its uniquely Swiss character. (Hardly unimaginable given that 21.1 percent of Swiss residents are foreign.) This makes men like Freysinger a dire threat to the multicultural world order. Hence the very nasty, but meaningless names.


Now engaged in probably its greatest battle yet, the Swiss People's Party has just amassed more than the requisite 100,000 signatures on a petition to trigger a national referendum, in this controversial case, on whether Switzerland should ban minarets, the towers that often soar high enough over mosques to transform the skyline of any cathedral town in Europe. Out of 90 mosques in Switzerland, only two have minarets. Three more are now in political limbo.


"We have long reflected on this," said Freysinger, 48, a strongly built man whose intelligent face, long, dark pony tail and summer sandals confound the Tyrolean-capped, alpine stereotype. A high school teacher of German literature, he is bilingual in German and French, and plenty serviceable in both Italian and English, the latter being our interview lingo.


Discussing the "long progression" of Islam — now 4.3 percent of Switzerland's mainly Christian population of 7.5 million — into Swiss life, he explains that what concerns him is "not the (Islamic) religion, but the law," meaning Islamic law, or Sharia. And while there is religious freedom in Switzerland for new mosques, this same freedom does not extend to minarets, which he sees as political more than religious symbols. "Minarets are not necessary for the practice" of Islam, he explains.


Indeed, historically, the minaret has often served as a sign of Islamic political power. In our own era, it may be seen to symbolize the introduction of Islamic law into formerly non-Islamic societies.


"In that case," Freysinger continued, "we said: `OK. We'll attack the symbol. It's always about symbols because symbols have a big truth behind them. And so we attack this symbol of conquering Islam and we say: You are welcome in our country, but there is one law, and one constitution for every person in this country. And there is no special law for an Islamic girl, or an Islamic man. There is no Sharia. Nothing."


Given the premodern inequities of Sharia, the notion of one enlightened law and constitution for all should be a simple, desirable state of Western affairs. But no. As the West tilts Islamic to accommodate aspects of Sharia ranging from diet to sexual segregation to polygamous marriage to Sharia banking to censorship regarding Islam itself, Freysinger's point of view becomes, to appeasers, an increasingly controversial and dangerous one, reliably eliciting catcalls and worse from world media and political establishments. In their postmodern parlance, to be opposed to the totalitarian tenets of Sharia is be an "extremist." My only question is, How do you say, Ich bin ein extremist?


One litmus test I applied to the many politicians on the European Right I've recently interviewed concerned their views on Israel. As supposed "extremists," "fascists," even "neo-Nazis," what would they say?


I asked Freysinger where Israel fits into his worldview. "Our party has always defended Israel because we are well aware that if Israel disappears, we lose a vanguard," he replied. "They are fighting now our fight in fact; and as long as the Muslims are concentrated on Israel, it is not so hard for us. But as soon as Israel will have disappeared, well, they will come to get the other part."


I think by "the other part" he meant the rest of the West. In this outlook, Freysinger is by no means alone on the European Right: members of other such parties — for example, Belgium's Vlaams Belang, the Danish People's Party and Holland's Freedom Party — explained to me how they find in Israel's struggle against both Islamization and jihad common cause.


"The right-wing parties should join their forces to fight Islamization," Freysinger said.


Good idea.

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© 2008, Diana West