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Swiss landscape

December 1st, 2009

A letter to the Times which was published on 1st December 2009.

I doubt if the Swiss people will be disturbed by your remonstrating that their vote to ban minarets in their beautifully cared-for country “completely misunderstands the nature of a secular, constitutional democracy” and is “an attack on religious liberty” (“Intolerance of Islam”, leading article, Nov. 30th).

Buildings, like the countryside, like people themselves, make up our personal landscapes, what we call our homeland.  All long-established peoples have a perfect right to keep or change their homeland as they choose.  The Swiss people using a democratic means, which many in this country would love to have access to here, have chosen not to have something that they judge is not in keeping with their landscapes.  That is all.