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  Swiss voters back ban on minarets
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ContributorNew Jerusalem 
Last EditedNew Jerusalem  Nov 30, 2009 04:09pm
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AuthorBBC News
MediaTV News - British Broadcasting Corporation BBC News
News DateSunday, November 29, 2009 10:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionSwiss voters have supported a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets, official results show.

More than 57% of voters and 22 out of 26 cantons - or provinces - voted in favour of the ban.

The proposal had been put forward by the Swiss People's Party, (SVP), the largest party in parliament, which says minarets are a sign of Islamisation.

The government opposed the ban, saying it would harm Switzerland's image, particularly in the Muslim world.

But Martin Baltisser, the SVP's general secretary, told the BBC: "This was a vote against minarets as symbols of Islamic power."

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes, in Bern, says the surprise result is very bad news for the Swiss government which fears unrest among the Muslim community.

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