Will Swiss voters ban the construction of minarets (not mosques) in Switzerland on November 29? Not according to an opinion poll published on Friday. The survey says the initiative’s rightwing supporters are set for disappointment – along with leftwing voters who want to ban the export of war materiel – but it’s going to be close. The first poll on the issue by the leading gfs.berne polling and research institute says 53 percent of Swiss currently reject the anti-minaret initiative.
Voters on the left of the political spectrum rejected the initiative, with 73 percent of Green Party voters saying no. Both German- and French-speaking Switzerland rejected the proposal, by 54 and 52 per cent respectively, but voters in Italian-speaking Switzerland bucked the trend, with 53 percent of voters backing it. From a sociological point of view, non-believers and people with a monthly income above SFr 11,000 ($10,900) were most likely to reject the initiative.
As for which arguments resonated most with the public, 53 percent of yes voters justified their decision by wanting to send a clear message against shari’a law, while 51 percent didn’t want minarets but had no problems with mosques. Forty-four percent considered minarets a symbol of power and domination.